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Prof. Morse Stephens 


•HJtP U ' 

' '66 J/ 




Cornell University Library 
DS 451.062 

On the original inhabitants of Bharatava 

3 1924 024 065 470 

Cornell University 

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tine Cornell University Library. 

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We regret that owing to circumstances beyond 
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been much delayed. 

Archibald Constable & Co. 
January, 1 894. 








Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology Presidency College Madras 
Telugu Translator to Government 
Curator Government Oriental Manuscripts Library 
Src 8fc ^c 


Aechibald Constable & Co 
14 Parliament Street S W 


Otto Hareassowitz 
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Thk main object of this work is to prove from existing 
sources, so far as they are available to me, that the original 
inhabitants of India, with the exception of a small minority 
of foreign immigrants, belong all to one and the same race, 
branches of which are spread over the continents of 
Asia and Europe, and which is also known as Finnish- 
Ugrian or Turanian. The branch which is domiciled in 
India should, according to my opinion, be called Bharalan, 
because the Bharatas were in olden times its most numerous 
and most honoured representatives, after whom the country 
received its name Bharatavarsa or Bharatavarsa. 

The favoured spots in which, in primeval periods, men pre- 
ferred to select their dwellings, were the highlands, hills, and 
mountains ; for these regions afforded gi'eater protection not 
only against the attacks of men and of wild beasts, but also 
against the fury of the unfettered elements, especially against 
the ravages of sudden and disastrous inundations. Though 
the plains were not altogether uninhabited, still the bulk of 
the population preferred, where obtainable, the higher and 
more secure places. I believe that the Bharatas were 
essentially a race of mountaineers, and that their name is 
intimately connected with the G-auda-Dravidian root paru , 
parai, mountain, a circumstance to which I draw atten- 
tion. ' 

See pages 13, 32, 83. 


The Bharatas divided at an early date into two great sec- 
tions, whicli were known in antiquity, as Kuru-Pancalas and 
Kauravas and Paijdavas, and afterwards as Gaudians and 
Dravidians, and as Kuruvas or Kurumbas and Mallas or 
Malayas, etc. All these names, too, are derived from 
words which denote mountains. However nearly related 
these tribes were to each other, they never lived together 
in close friendship, and although they were not always per- 
haps at open war, yet feelings of distrust and aversion seem 
always to have prevailed. 

Though positive evidence in favour of mj^ assertions was 
very difficult to obtain, still, it was incumbent on me to 
verify my statements by the best means available. In 
order to do so, I had to betake myself to the fields of 
language and religion, which in matters of this kind are 
the most reliable and precious sources of information. For 
language and religion manifest in a peculiar manner the 
mental condition of men, and thouoii both differ in their 
aim and result, yet the mind which directs and animates 
both is the same, so that though they work in different 
grooves, the process of thinking is in both identical. Besides 
the mental character, we must not neglect the physical 
complement which is supplied by ethnology, and in this 
case the physical evidence of ethnology supports thoroughly 
the conclusions at which I had arrived from consulting the 
language and religion of the inhabitants of India. 

In the first two parts I have treated separately of the 
two bi'anohes of the Bharatas, relying mainly on the 
linguistic and historical material at my disposal concerning 
the ethnological position of the Dravidians and Gaudians. 
The principal Gauda-Dravidian tribes who live scattered 
over the length and breadth of the vast Indian con- 
tinent are, in order to establish their mutual kinship, 
separately introduced into this discussion. This method 


may create in tlie minds of some readers an impression that 
the several topics are somewhat disconnected, but this 
arrangement was necessitated by the peculiarity of the sub- 
ject of my inquiry. 

In pursuing the ramifications of the Bharatan, or Gauda- 
Dravidian, population throughout the peninsula, I hope 
I have been able to point out the connexion existing 
between several tribes, apparently widely different from 
each other. I have tried thus to identify the so-called 
Pariahs of Southern India with the old Dravidian moun- 
taineers and to establish their relationship to the Bhars, 
Brahuis, Mhars, Mahars, Paharias, Paravari, Paradas 
and other tribes; all these tribes forming, as it were, the 
first layer of the ancient Dravidian deposit. In a similar 
manner I have identified the Candalas with the fii*st section 
of thp G-audian race which was reduced to abject slavery by 
the Aryan invaders, and shown their connexion with the 
ancient Kandalas and the present Gonds. In addition to this, 
I trust I have proved that such apparently diiJerent tribes 
as the Mallas, Pallas, Pallavas, Ballas, Bhillas and others 
are one and all oiishoots of the Dravidian branch, and that 
the Kolis, Kois, Khonds, Kodagas, Koravas, Kurumbas 
and others belong to the Gaudian division, both branches 
forming in reality only portions of one a,nd the same people, 
whom I prefer to call, as I have said, Bharatas. 

Where there is so much room for conjecture, it is easy 
enough, of course, to fall into error, and I shall be prepared 
to be told that many of my conclusions are erroneous and 
the hypotheses on which they are built fanciful. But though 
much of what I have written may be shown to be untenable, I 
shall yet be satisfied if, in the main, I establish my contention, 
and I shall deem myself amply repaid for my labor if I 
succeed in restoring the Gaudian and Dravidian to those 
rights and honors of which they have so long been deprive d 


In the third part which treats on Indian Theogony I have 
endeavoured to give a short sketch of some of the most 
prominent features of the Aryan and non-Aryan beliefs. 
After noticing briefly the reverence which the Yedic hymns 
display towards the Forces of Nature, which develops gradu- 
ally into the acceptance of a Supreme Being {Brahmayi), 
I go on to show how the idea of an impersonal God, a per- 
ception too high and abstract to be grasped by the masses of 
the population, gradually gave place to the recognition of a 
personal Creator, with whom were associated eventually 
the two figure-heads of Preservation and Destruction, all 
these three together forming the Trimurti as represented 
by Brahman, Visi;iu and Siva. 

About the time that the ancient Vedie views began to 
undergo a change, and the idea of the existem^e of a Supreme 
.Spirit impressi.'d itself on the minds of the thoughtful, tlie 
non-Aryan Pi-inciple of the Female Energy was introduced 
into the Arvan system. This dogma which originated with 
the Turanian races of Asia, and was thus also acknowledged 
in ancient Babylonia, soon exercised a powerful influence, 
and pervaded the whole religion of the Aryans in India. 
Its symbol was in India the Salagrama-stone, which Visnu 
afterwards appropriated as his emblem. 

I have further tried to show how the contact with the 
non- Aryan population aifected the belief of the Aryans 
and modified some of the features of their deities. Brahman 
was thus, by assimilating himself with the non- Aryan chief- 
god and demon-king Aiyauar, transformed into a Brahma- 
bhuta, while the very same Aiyanar was changed into Siva 
in his position as demon-king or Bhutanatlia, and Visnu 
became e;radually identified by a great section of the 
Brahmanic community with the Female Principle'and taken 
for Uma. 

The religions opinions of the original inhabitants were 


on the other hand not left unchanged as the result of their 
intercourse with the Aryans, and many ideas and many of 
the deities of the invader were received into their religion. 
The prominent features of this religion lay in the adoration 
of the Principle of the Female Energy, or Sakti, as repre- 
sented by the chief local goddess or Grramadevata, in the 
acknowledgment of a Supreme God revered under such 
names as Aiyanar (Sasta), and in the worship of Demons. 

I trust now that the racial unity of the great majority 
of the Indian population has been established by this 
research based mainly on linguistic and theological evi- 
dence, as it has also been proved independently by ethno- 
logical enquiries. 

In order to perpetuate by an outward sign the racial union 
of the overwhelming majority of the population of India, I 
venture to suggest that the inhabitants of this country would 
do well, if they were to assume the ancient, honorable and 
national name of Bharatas, remembering that India has 
become famous as Bharatavarsa, the land of the Bharatas. 

In such a multitude of subjects, it was only possible for 
me to formulate my ideas in a somewhat imperfect manner, 
without being able to treat separately every particular 
subject as thoroughly and completely as it deserved, and as 
I had wished to treat it. 1 make this observation to show 
that I am fully cognizant of the incompleteness of this 
enquiry, but, I trust, I have at least succeeded in making 
clear its purport and significance. If time and circum- 
stances had permitted, I should have added some chapters 
on some essential topics, and enlarged the scope of others, 
but my impending departure from India has compelled me 
to be brief. If this book should be deemed worthy of 
another edition, I hope to be able to remedy these defects. 
It is here perhaps not out of place to mention, that the 
first portions of this book appeared some years ago, the 


first Part being priDted as early as 1888j and it is possible 
that the publication of this work in fragments has been 
attended with some disadvantages. 

I am thus well aware of the many defects in a publica- 
tion like thisj but I trust that even my errors may not be 
without use, if, like stranded vessels, they serve to direct 
the explorer, warning him away from the shoals and rocks 
that beset the enquirer in his seai'ch after truth. 

Madras, 14/A. February, 1893. 





General Remarks 

Philological Remarks ... 

Historical Remarks 

Division between Gaudians and Dravidians 


On the Mallas 

Explanation of the terms Dravida, Tamil and A ravam 


On the Pariah (Parata, PahSria), Brahui, Bar (Bhar), M; 

(Mhar), &c 

Derivation of the word Pariah 

On the Brahuis ... 

On the Bars or Bhars ... 

On the Mars, Mhars, Mahars, Mhairs or Mers 

On the Maravar -• 

Religious and Social privileges enjoyed by Pariahs 

Wrong Derivation of the terms Holeya and Pulaya 

Caste distinctions among Pariahs ; Right and Left Hand Castes 

On the Vallnvar ., 







The names of ancient kings and Asuras indicate the names of 

the people over whom they ruled ... ... ... ... 14,15 

Beginning of peaceful Intercourse and Inter-marriage between 

Aryans and Dravidians ... ... ... ... ... 16,17 





On the Pallar, Pallavas, Pulayar, Ballas (Bhallas) Bhils, Pulindae, 

On the name of the Pallas and Pallavas 

On the Pajlar 

On the Pulayar ... 

On the Ballaa 

On the Bhils 

On the Pnlindas . . . 

On Pulaha, Pnlastya, Puloman, &c. 




On the Pallis, Agnikulas, Paiidyas, Vellalar, &c. ... .. ... 89-108 

On the Agnikulae ... 89-94 

On the Pallis ... 94-100 

Different meanings of the word Palli ... ... ... ... 100,101 

Explanation of the words Pandya, Vellala, Ballala, Bhillala ... 101-108 




Philological Remarks ... 

Application of the term Gaudian 

Explanation of the use of Gaiula as a tribal name 

On the name Kolarian 





On the Kolis (Kulis), Kolas ... 

On the Gaulis ... 

On the Kulindas, Kuliitas, &o. 


On the Kois, Konds, Kands, Gouds 

On the Oaadalas 

On the names Khandobii, Khandesh, Gondaja, &c. 

On Gondophares 


141, 142 

142, 143 

155, 156 

160, 161 



On the Kocjagas 

On the Koragas 

On Hubasika and Huviska 

On the Todas ... 

On the Kotas 


On the Kuravas (Kuruvas, Kurumas), Koracaru. 
On the Kurus (Yerakulas) and Kaurs 
On the Kunnuvaa and Kunavarie 







On the Kurubas or Kurumbas 

Remarks about the name Kurumba ... 

On the sub-divisions among the Kurumbas 

On their religion, manners and customs ... 

On our historical knowledge about the Kurumbas 

On Adonda Cola 

On Toudamandalam 

On the Kallas under the Tondaman of Pudukota .. 

On the Kurmis, Kumbis or Kunbis ... 

On the origin of the term Kadamba 







Introductory Remarks . . 
On Vedio Deities 
On Vedio Creation 
On the Trimurti 




BiTihmfi 11 . 

fieneral Eemarke 

On the present Worship of Brahman 

On the Brahmabhilta ... 



General Remarks 

On the "Deluge ... 

On the Yugas ... 

On the Salagrama-stone 

On the modification of the worship of Visnu 

On Visiiu's wives 



General Remarks 
On the Linga 


On Paramatman, the Supreme Spirit 


Introductory Remarks 

On Uma, Amma, Amba 

On Drvi (Durga), etc. 

On Sakti'a participation at the creation 

On the origin of the worship of the various Saktis 

On the VidySdevis, llatrs and Gramadevata.? 


Qrnmadevataa, Aiyannr <ind BhUtas. 

General Remarks 
On GrSmadevatas 








On Ellamma ... 464-471 

On Mariyamma ... ... ... ... ... ,,. ... 471-485 

On Angaramma (Aiigalamma, etc.) ... ... ... ... 485-491 

On Piclari 491-495 

On Bhadrakali, Civmuncjii, Durga ... .. ... . . . 495-499 

On other Gramaclevatas ... ... ... ... ... ... 499-504 

On Aiyanar (Ayyappa or Sasta) .. ... ... ... ... 504-513 

On Bhatas 513-516 

About Fiends (Asuraa, Danavas, Daityas) ... ... ... ... 516-526 

About Ghosts (Transmigration) ... ... ... ... ... 526-550 

On Devils 550-574 




Introductory Remarks ... ... ... 575-581 

On Vasistha 581-585 

On Visvamitra . . , ... ... ... .. ... ... ... 585-595 

On the Bharatas 596-623 

Index 624-711 


k, kh, g, gh, i, h, h, a, a. 
c, oh, i, jh, n, s, y, i, i, e', e, ai. 
t, th, d, dh, M, s., 1', r, f. 
t, th, d, dh, n, s, 1, ], 1 
p, ph, b, bh, m, li v, " n, o', o, au. 
Anusvara iri ; r, !, 1, are peculiar to the Dravidian languages. 

'Used in the Dravidian languages. 

On the Original Inhabitants of 
Bharatavarsa or India. 



General Bemaeks. 
No one who undertakes to study the ancient history of 
India can fail to be impressed by the scantiness of the 
material at his disposal. In fact such an undertaking would 
soon appear to be futile, were he to depend solely on Indian 
accounts and records. Fortunately, however, we possess some 
writings of foreigners who visited India ; and their reports 
of what they actually saw during their stay in this country, 
and of what they were able to gather from trustworthy 
sources, furnish us with materials of a sufficiently reliable 
character. If we except Kashmir and Ceylon, regarding the 
latter as belonging to India, no part of India possesses 
anything like a continuous historical record. The prepond- 
erance of caste and the social prejudices it creates are disabili- 
ties such as no Hindu who wishes to relate the history of his 
country can entirely overcome. The natives of India have, as 
a rule, little sympathy with people outside their own class, and 
when it is believed that persons belonging to the highest caste 
can by their piety ensure final beatitude, if they simply 
remember and revere the memory of their three immediate 
predecessors — father, grandfather, and great grandfather — 
we need not wonder at the apathy displayed towards history 
by them and by others who are beneath them in the social 


Yet, if the study of Indian history has up to now not 
proved interesting to the Hindus themselves— and there exist 
many good reasons why this has been and is still the case— 
this fact need not discourage foreigners, who are interested in 
this subject, from pursuing it. 

It is true no doubt that the results which have been 
obtained from decipherings and archaeological researches in 
India, must appear insignificant wlien compared with what 
has been achieved elsewhere in the same fields. StiLl, there is 
no need to despair of final success, for our knowledge and 
material are daily increasing, though Indian history at 
present, becomes interesting only when it throws light on 
the communal, legal and social conditions of the people, or 
on their intercourse and relation with foreigners. 

Owing to the meagreness and often to the untrustworthi- 
ness of the historical material, an Indian historian must be 
continually on the look-out for new tracks in which to pursue 
his researches. The task of a scientific historian is difficult in 
itself, but it is made still more so, if a scholar is anxious to 
make original researches and strike out for himself a new 
path in Indian history, as, in addition to other qualifications, 
he must be a linguist possessing some knowledge of the 
language of the people into whose past he is inquiring. 

The limited number of Indian historical records, including 
architectural, palseographical, numismatic and similar anti- 
quities, compels a student of Indian history to draw within 
his range subjects other than those usually regarded as 
strictly historical, e.g., the names of nations and individuals, 
of countries and tovms, of mountains and rivers, and such other 
topics, in which he believes that historical relics lie concealed. 

I have selected as the subject of this inquiry the people 
to whom I assign in default of a better name that of Gauda- 
Dravidian, who by the extensive area they occupied, and over 


which their descendants are still scattered, are well worthy of 
a careful research being made into their past history. 

Philological Eemaeks. 

Before entering upon the historical part of this inquiry, 
a few general philological remarks will not be out of place. 
Every one who is even slightly acquainted with the laws 
which govern the interchange of letters, knows that the labial 
nasal m is often permuted into the other labials as p, h, or » 
and vice versa. Mumba is thus changed to Bombay, and 
MaUava into Ballava ; ManilMCcha is identical with Bharu- 
kaccha ; Sanskrit pramdna is altered to Kanarese pavanu or 
havanu, measure ; mattai, stem, in Tamil resembles pattai, 
bark ; madandai in Tamil, woman, corresponds to padati in 
Telugu, and Mallar to Pallar, &c. On the other hand, Bhavdni 
becomes Bhamani ; Vdnam, heaven, is changed in Tamil to 
Mdiiam; Palavaneri to Palamaneri; Pallava to Vallama 
(Yelama) andVallamba; pallddu, goat, in Tamil, to velladu ; 
Vadavan to Vadaman ; the words Oiruvan and Ciruman, 
youth, both occur ; piranku, to shine, in Tamil corresponds to 
the Telugu merungu, &c. 

The above-mentioned rule is general and applies to 
other languages as well, for in Greek, onima, e.g., becomes 
op>2m ; meta, peda ; membras, bembras ; palkiii, ballein, and 
patein, batein, &c. ; but nowhere else does there exist such 
a variety and difference of pronunciation as in the vernacular 
languages of India. Their system of writing is a proof 
of this fact. Tamil has, e.g., only one sign for the four 
sounds 1 belonging to each of the five classes ; in fact 20 
different sounds are expressed by five letters, and even 
where, as in Telugu, these 20 sounds are provided with 20 

1 s for k, kh, g, gh ; i^ for c, ch,,j, jh ; L fort, tt, d, ih ; /S for t, th, 
d dh ; and u for p, ph, b, bh. In their transliteration accordingly are only 
used k, c, I, t and p, which indicate the letter, but not the sound. 


distinct characters, tlie pronunciation still remains so unoer- 
tain, that in his Telugu Dictionary the late Mr. 0. P. Brown 
arranged these four letters respectively under one head. The 
cause of this striking peculiarity and these continual per- 
mutations is to be found partly no doubt in indefinite pro- 
nunciation and dialectical divergencies, but mainly in the 
strict enforcement of the over-stringent and artificial rules 
of Sandhi or Euphony, which affect alike vowels and con- 
sonants, and which do not, e.g., permit a word in the middle 
of a sentence to begin with a vowel. Local differences in 
pronunciation exist in India as well as in other countries. 
Amongst these the interchanges between tcnues and iiiccliae 
are most common ; we find them in Wales and in German 
Saxony, where the tenues j), t, and A- are to this day con- 
founded with the mediae b, d, and g, or vice versa. 

The three Dravidian I'a (lev, Im- and I te) however differ- 
ently they may be pronounced, are only varieties of the same 
sound and are therefore interchangeable, thus, ?.(/., the Sanskrit 
phidaiii becomes in Tamil jjff/«m ueuii, or palaiii ulpld, while 
viu/him LDeusuih becomes maUam LDeir&rLh, relldlan Qsneiren-rrsmisr 
is also spelt veUalan Qsj sir err rrifissr, and a village or town is 
called pnlli udjsS [valli auajsS), palli uotj-ctA, or pdli urrifi. 
The harsher sound is generally used by the lower classes, and 
where these pronounce an eb I ot err J, a high caste-man will 
lisp a, jfi I, which letter is probably a modern innovation 
prevailing specially in Malayalam and Tamil. 

As the different /'s interchange between each other, so do 
the two Dravidian r and r ; ^ a hard double pp rr is pro- 
nounced in Tamil somewhat like a double //,' which ciroum- 

^ Tamil it and p, Tolugu S and es Kanarese d and fee, Malayalam 
o and o, 

^ Tho Tamil pp in represented occaaionally in Telugu \\y ks e.g., the 
Tamil l-\p^, pnrru, corresponds to the Telugu B&4.-' piitja. 


stance is a proof of the relationship between the r and t 
sounds. After this statement the permutation between the 
lingual d and the r and I sounds will not create any surprise. 
Some of these changes are pretty common elsewhere ; they 
occur in the Aryan as well as in the Dravidian languages. 

A further peculiarity of the Dravidian languages, and 
especially of Tamil, is their dislike to beginning words with 
compound letters : Brahma becomes Piramam, i3irLDih ; pra- 
handha, pirapantam, lSituje^lo ■ graniha, kirantam, Qit^^ld. 
In consequence of indistinct pronunciation and the desire 
for abbreviation, initial and medial consonants are often 
dropped at the beginning or in the middle of words, while on 
the other hand in opposition to this tendency a half -consonant 
is prefixed to an initial vowel, in order to prevent a word from 
beginning with a vowel. We thus occasionally meet words 
whose initial consonants are dropped and replaced by half- 
consonants, e.g., vella, white, in Telugu becomes ella and yelki, 
vesa, haste, esa and yesa, the name of the Billavar of Travan- 
core becomes Ilavar and Yilavar ; Velur becomes Elur and 
Teltir. This practice of prefixing a half-consonant before an 
initial vowel is generally enforced in the middle of a sentence, 
— a y is thus placed before an a, e, i, and ai and a v before 
0, u, and au. The half-consonant is used to avoid an hiatus 
and this explains why the University- degrees M.A. and B.A. 
are pronounced by many Natives Yam Ya and Be Ya. 
Metathesis is likewise of not unfrequent occurrence in the 
Dravidian languages. It is even found in words of common 
occurrence, in kurudai, e.g., for hidii-ai, horse ; in Marudai for 
the town Madura ; in Verul for Elora (Velur or Ballora); in 
Vaikdiam {emw^irffLc) and Vaikaii [(saensirffl) for Vai&SMmn 
and Vaiidkhi ; in the Telugu agapa and abaka, ladle, &o. 

Another peculiarity is to drop one of two consonants in 
a syllable and to lengthen the vowel if it happens to be 
short, or to double a consonant and to shorten the vowel, 


if it happens to be long; e.g., ^csfcgto ceyyutaiov ^cxSo^^ 
cei/uta, Velldlan for Veldlan, Palla for Pdla, &c. 

It will be readily perceived that this laxity of pronun- 
ciation affords a wide field for philological conjectures, and 
that, if we choose as an example the representative name of 
the Mdlla or Palla tribe, a variety of forms for Mara and 
Malla, or Para and Palla, which actually occur, can be re- 
traced to the common source, and thus be shown to have a 
sound basis. The task which a philologist has to perform is 
a serious one and ought to make him cautious. Considerable 
and unexpected difficulties also arise from the great simi- 
larity of many Sanskrit and Dravidian words with Mara, 
Malla and their derivatives.* The explanations of names of 
persons, tribes, places, &c., so readily tendered by the Natives 

' A fe'W of such, eimilar words are in Sanskrit : para, other, ^ato, m., straw, 
n., flesh, pala, m., barn, pallava, m., u., sprout, palvala, m., pond, psM, m., 
guard, ^«te great, ^/iaZa, n. , fruit, ^M?a, m., n., ploughshare, ^AwKa, open, 
bala, n., power, bali, m., oblation, bala, young, bhala, u.., forehead, mara, 
killing, mala, n., dirt, malli, f., jasmine, mdra, killing, mala, n., field, mala, f., 
garland, valla, covering, vallabha, m., lover, ■valli (j), f., creeper, &c.; in Tamil: 
alam, plough, alii, lily, alliyam, village of herdsmen, alai, cave, dlatn., water, 
palar (palldr), many persons, palam, strength, fruit, flesh, pali, sacrifice, 
pal, tooth, pallam, bear, arrow, palli, lizard, palam, old, palam, fruit, pali, ■ 
blame, palai, hole, pallam, lowness, paUayam (pallait/am) , ofiering to demons, 
pallaicci, dwarfish woman, pal, milk, palam, bridge, palar, herdsmen, palai, 
a,Tid, pali, cave, village, pdlayam (pdlaiyam) country, camp, pali, encampment, 
palai, palmtree, pilli, demon, pulam, ricefield, puldl, flesh, pulai, flesh, pul, 
meanness, piillii, grass, pullam, ignorant, pulli, lizard, malam, excretion, 
malar, flower, maJai, hill, mal, boxing, mallam, strength, malli, jasmine, r/iallu, 
wrcstUng, malai, rain, mallam, strength, mal, greatness, mullai, jasmine, 
mid, miillu, thorn, mel, above, valam, rightside, valam, power, vali, strength, 
t>ff/», strong, «'«/«(', net, rallar, strong persons, ■yaKajipan, beloved, vallavan, shep- 
herd, valli, woman, village, valliyam, vUlage of shepherds, valuli, poetical 
epithet of the Pandya kings, valappam, valamai, valam, valan, strength, ' 
valavan, epithet of Cola, vallam, com measure, valliyam, pipe, pepper, vdlai, 
plantain, ral, sword, vil, bow, villi, Manmatha, vel, white, vellam, inundation, 
velli, silver, vel, lance, veli, village, veljim, sugarcane -reed, &c.; in Teluyu: 
ala, wave, ala [alia), then, alii, water, lily, alle, bowstring, c^«, young, ella, 
all, limit, white {vella), palla (pulla), red, reddish, pdlemii, camp, pallemu, 
saucer, pala, name of a tree, white, jay, pdlu, share, milk, pilla, child, pilli, 
cat, puli {pulla), sour, puli, tiger, pulu fptillu), grass, piilla, piece, balla, 
bench, bhdli, affection, mala, mountain, malumii, dirt, main, again, malla 


of India and seemingly supported by some legendary and 
historical evidence, must be viewed with extreme caution 
and distrust. It is not an uncommon occurrence to make 
a statement of "this kind, and afterwards to invent cor- 
roborative evidence. This is often not done with any desire 
to mislead, but rather because it affords a fair display for 
speculative ingenuity. If, e.g., a rich man of a high caste 
acquires a Paraiceri, he will alter its name so as to hide 
the low origin of his property and to impart to it a sacred 
appearance. Near Madras is situated the well-known hill 
called St. Thomas' Mount. Its name in Tamil is Parahgi 
Malai or Mountain of the Franks or Europeans, from the 
original European or rather Portuguese settlement. Some 
years ago a Brahman settlement was established there and 
the name of Parangi Malai was no longer deemed respect- 
able. Thenceforth it was changed to Bhrngi Malai, the 
mountain of the sacred Bhrngi, and eventually in support 
of this appellation legendary evidence was not slow in 

again, malle {ynallelu), jaemine, mala {male, mdlilca), garland, mdli, 
gardener, male, house, mula {mullu) , thorn, mule, corner, mella, hall, melamu, 
fun, melu, good, upper, maila, unclean, vala, right, net, valla, stratagem, valle, 
noose, vdli, custom, valu, long, sword, vilu [villu), how, vllu, expedient, vela, 
price, vella, white, rellui-a, flood, vela, limit, vela, time, vein 1000, toe, &c. 

Considering the changes the letters undergo in Dravidian words, when 
pallddu, goat, is also written veUddu and pala, flesh, hecomes ptilai and 
Valluru is also written Vdluru, Velluru, Telluru, &c., similar alterations 
need not create any great surprise, especially if it is admitted that small 
orthographical changes assist their heing the more easily distinguished. 
As an illustration how the names of the Mallas and Pallas appear in local 
appellations I only add as an example a, few such names as Mallapur, 
Pallapur, Ballapur, VaUapur, YaUapur, Allapur, EUapur, Vellapur, 
Yellapur, Illapur, ViUapur, Volluru, TJUapur, Vullapur, Mftlavur, Palavur, 
Balapur, Vfilapur, Yalapetta, Elapur, Elavur, Velapur, Yelagiri, &c., &c. 

5 An example of the spurious character of similar writings is exhibited hy 
the Sthalapurana that contains the origin of the Gunmjbag-weavers, which, 
though of recent origin, is hy some incorporated in the Brahmanda Purana. 

A curious instance of the alteration of a name is supplied hy the Barber's 
bridge near St. Thom^ in Madras. It was originally named Mamilton's 


It might appear that when so many changes are possible, 
no reliance can be placed on such evidence, but these permu- 
tations do not all take place at the same time, indeed dialecti- 
cal pronunciation selects some letters in preference to others. 
The northern Hindu pronounces, a B, where the southern 
prefers a F, and both letters occur only in border districts ; 
thus no B is found in the names of such places situated in 
the Ohingleput, South- Arcot, Tanjore, Trichinopoly, Madura., 
Tinnevelly, and Malabar districts, while in South-Kanara, 
Ganjam and Mysore a Fis seldom used. 

These few preliminary philological remarks are absolutely 
necessary to facilitate the understanding of the subsequent 
discussion. The important position which language occupies 
in such a research as the present was well pointed out more 
than forty years ago, by the Pioneer of North-Indian Ethno- 
logy, the learned B. H. Hodgson, when he wrote in the 
preface to his first Essay : " And the more I see of these 
primitive races the stronger becomes my conviction that 
there is no medium of investigation yielding such copious 
and accurate data as their languages." 

Historical Eemaeks. 

Turning from these linguistic to historical topics, we 
know as a fact that when tracing the records of any nation or 
country as far back as possible, we arrive at a period when 
all authentic or provable accounts cease. We have then 
reached the prehistoric stage. What occurred during that 
epoch can never be verified. When the mist of historic 
darkness disappears from the plains and mountains of a 
country, the existing inhabitants and their dwellings become 

bridge after a gentleman of that name. The word Samilton, being difficult 
to pronounce in Tamil, was changed into amattan (common form for ampat- 
tan) which means in Tamil a Imrbcr, whence by retrauslation into English 
the bridge was called Barber's bridge. 


visible, but whether these are in reality the first settlers and 
their abodes the first erected, is another question which does 
not properly belong to the domain of history, so long as we 
are unable to assert its relevancy or to find an answer to it. 
Whether the people of whom we first hear in a country are 
really its aborigines may be doubtful ; but so long as no 
earlier inhabitants can be discovered, they must be regarded 
as such. So far as historical traces can be found in the laby- 
rinth of Indian antiquity, it was the Gauda-Dra vidians who 
lived and tilled the soil and worked the mines in India. 

This discussion does not concern the so-called Kolarian 
tribes, whose connection with the ancient history of India 
is so very obscure, that we possess hardly any historical 
accounts about them. 

However considerable and apparently irreconcilable may 
appear the differences exhibited by the various Gauda-Dra- 
vidian tribes in their physical structure and colour, in their 
language, religion, and art, all these differences can be satis- 
factorily accounted for by the physical peculiarities of the 
localities they inhabited, by the various occupations they 
followed, and by the political status which regulated their 
domestic and social habits. For every one must be aware of 
the fact that change of abode and change in position have 
worked, and are working, the most marvellous alterations in 
the physical and mental constitution of individuals and 
nations. Language, especially the spirit which pervades it^ 
is the most enduring witness of the connection which exists 
between nations, and with its help we can often trace the 
continuity of descent from the same stock in tribes seemingly 
widely different. 

From the north-west across to the north-east, and from 
both corners to the furthest south, the presence of the Gauda- 
Dravidian race in India can be proved at a very early period. 
On the arrival of the Aryans on the north-western fron- 
tier, the Gauda-Dravidians are already found in flourishing 


communities. But successive waves of the Aryan invasion, 
swelled in their course by the accession of former opponents 
who had despaired of successful resistance, must soon have 
flooded over the Gauda-Dravidian settlements. Some by 
their prowess were able to maintain their ground against 
the invaders, while others, defeated, left their abodes and 
emigrated towards the South. Yet even the North, subject 
though it became in time to the Aryan or rather Brahmanical 
sway, can never be said to have been totally conquered by 
force of arms. Still less was this the case with the South, 
where the Brahmanical influence always assumed a more civic 
and priestly character ; influence, which though of another 
kind, can hardly be deemed less powerful, since it is more 
lasting and more thorough. Even the Aryanised languages 
of North-India — however they may prove the mental superi- 
ority of the invaders who were able to force on their defeated 
foes their peculiar mode of thinking — manifest their origin 
in their vocabularies and show the inability of the victors to 
press on the vanquished their own language. The languages 
of both, victors and vanquished, amalgamated and formed 
new dialects, and the diflerence which exists between the 
abstract synthetic Sanskrit and the concrete agglutinated 
Dra vidian is clearly expressed. This difference is easily 
observable when we compare on the one hand the construction 
of Sanskrit with that of such Aryanised languages, as Ben- 
gali and Marathi, which possess a considerable substratum 
of a non-Aryan element, and on the other hand the con- 
struction of Latin with that of the Neo- latin languages 
French and Spanish, which may be considered as entirely 
Aryan. I have alluded to this fact in my " Classification 
of Languages." Hindustani is a fair specimen of such a 
miscegenation of languages. 

The earliest mention of a Gauda-Dravidian word is to be 
found in the Bible. In the first book of Kings, x. 22 we 
read as follows : For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish 


ivith the navy of Hiram ; once in three years came the navy of 
Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and 
peacocks.'" « The expression for peacocks is tukkiyyim, a word 
derired from the Gauda-Dravidian toka {tokai or togai), 
which originally signifies the tail of a peacock and eventually 
a peacock itself. It exists in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, 
Kanarese, Gondi and elsewhere. The identification of tukki 
(tUki) with tokai is very old indeed, and is already quoted as 
well known in the early editions of the Hebrew dictionary 
of Wilhelm Gesenius.' The mere fact that the sailors of 
Solomon and Hiram designated a special Indian article by a 
Gauda-Dravidian word, renders it j)robable that the inhabi- 
tants with whom they traded were Gauda-Dravidians and 
that Gauda-Dravidian was the language of the country. The 
Aryan influence could at that time hardly have been strong 
enough to supplant the current vernacular, or to force upon 
it a Prakritised Aryan term. Moreover^ the peacock is a 
well-known bird, common all over India, and it is highly 
improbable that the Gauda-Dravidians should have waited 
for the arrival of the Aryans to name it, or should have 
dropped their own term in order to adopt in its stead an 
Aryan one. The vocal resemblance between the Hebrew 
hopk and the Sanskrit kapi is most likely accidental. The 
ancient Egyptians, who kept monkeys in their temples, 
called a monkey kdf. Besides it cannot at all be assumed 
that the sailors of the fleet of Tharshish did not know 
monkeys. May not koph, kdf, kapi, &c., after all be an 
OnomatopoiStikon ? Another word which proves the connection 
of the Gauda-Dravidians with foreign nations is supplied by 

« The Hetrew worda in 1 Kings, x. 22, are : Oni Tharsts noseth sdMb 
vakeseph senhahbim veqopMm vethukkiyylm. 2 Clironioles, ix. 21, has a long 
u and reads vethUkkiyyl'm. The derivation of senhaHim is still doubtful. 

' See also my lecture On the Ancient Commerce of India, p. 25. The 
derivation of Abmiggim or Algummim from valgu as the sandalwood is called 
in different places, 1 Kings, x. 11, 12, and 2 Chronicles, ii. 7 ; ix. 10, 11, 
is very doubtful, and I hesitate to derive it from Sanskrit. 


the Greek word oryza for rice, which corresponds to the 
Q-auda-Dravidian arUi, and not to the Sanskrit vrlhi.^ 

The Aryan invaders showed little sympathy with the 
inhabitants they found on the confines and in the interior of 
India. The outward appearance of the Dasas or Dasyus — 
these were the names with which the new-comers honoured 
their opponents — was not such as to create a favourable 
impression, and thoy were in consequence taunted with their 
black colour and flat noses, which latter made their faces 
appear as if they had no noses. Indra is invoked to reduce 
into the darkness of subjection the colour of the Dasas and 
to protect the colour of his worshippers, for the latter were 
not always successful in the combats, and the Dasas at times 
turned the tables on their foes by becoming victorious 

So far as civilisation is concerned, a great difference 
could hardly have existed between the two races when they 
first met. However rude may have been the bulk of the 
indigenous population, a considerable portion of it must 
have already attained a certain degree of cultivation. It was 
no doubt the wealth which they had acquired that stimulated 
the invaders to pursue their conquests, even when a brave 

* See my lecture On the Ancient Commerce of India, p. 37 - " Of grains 
Eice formed an important commodity. The cultivation of rice extended 
in ancient times only as far west as to Bactria, Susiana, and the Euphrates 
valley. The Greeks most likely obtained their rice from India, as this 
country alone produced it in sufSoient quantity to he ahle to export it. 
Moreover the Grecian name for rice oryza, for which there exists no Aryan 
or Sanskrit root, has heen previously identified by scholars with the TamU 
word arisi, which denotes rice deprived of the husk. This was exactly the 
state in which rice was exported. The Greeks besides connected rice gene- 
rally with India. AthenaBos quotes oryza hepJithe, cooked rice, as the 
food of the Indians, and Aelianus mentions a wine made of rice as an Indian 
beverage. If now the Greek received their rice from India, and the 
name they called this grain by is a Dravidian word, we obtain an addi- 
tional proof of the non- Aryan element represented in the Indian trade." 

Aral, rice, occurs also in Keikadi, and nriselti, ricecakes, in Telugu. 


and stubborn resistance warned the Aryans not to drive to 
despair the various chieftains who had retreated to their 
mountain strongholds. The bravery of the Dasas excited 
the admiration of their opponents. Indra himself occasion- 
ally protects the Dasas, the Aryan priest deigns to accept 
his offering, and the divine Asvins partake even of his food. 
Though both the terms Dasyii and Ddsa originally denote a 
destroyer, at times a malevolent superhuman being, and at 
times in contrast to Arya, an enemy of the gods or a wicked 
man, and are in this sense specially applied to the aboriginal 
races who stood outside the Brahmanical pale, yet the 
expression Ddsa continued to be contemptuously used by one 
Aryan against another, till it became in time equivalent to 
a common menial or slave. 

Division between Gaudians and Dravidians. 

The foemeu whom the Aryans first encountered were 
generally brave mountaineers who offered a stout resistance 
in their numerous castles. Indeed, most tribal names of the 
inhabitants of India wiE. be shown to refer to mountains. 

The two special Gauda-Dravidian terms for mountain are 
mala {malai, par, pdrdi, &c.) and ko {konda, kuru, Jcunru, 
kora, &c.). Both kinds of expressions are widely used and 
prevail throughout India. Hence are derived the names of 
the Mallas, Mdlas, Mdlavas, Malayas^-^ &c., and of the Koyis, 
Kodiilu, Kondas, Gondas, Gaiidas, Kurums^, &c. I shall in 
future call those tribes whose names are derived from mala 
Dravidians^ and those whose names are derived from ko 

' Conoeming the single and doutle I which is found respectively in Mala- 
ya, Malla and in their derivatives, it should be considered that the Dravidian 
languages do not possess fixed orthographical rules regarding proper names 
and that single and douhle letters are often used indifferently. A moun- 
taineer is thus generally described in South-India as Malayan or Malaiyan, 
while Kalian also denotes an inhabitant ot a mountainous district. 




The names of Ancient Kings and Asueas indicate the 
names of the people over whom they eulel). 

Among the tribes and people whom I regard as Dra- 
vidians, whose names are derived either directly from Mala 
or from cognate terms, and who are of the same race as the 
Mallas or Pallas, which term is chosen on p. 6 as their re- 
presentative designation, I may mention the Maras (, 
Mahars, Maharas or Malas), Maris, Maravar, Pariahs, 
Parjas, Paravar, Paravari, JJo^povapoi, Paratas, Hapovrat,, 
Paradas, Parheyas, Bars (Bhars, Bdppai), Brahuis ; the 
Mallas {MaXKoi, Malli), Malas (Mais or Maras), Mala 
Arayar, Malacar, Malayalis, Malavas, (Malvas), Malair 
(Maler or Paharias), Mallar or Pallar, the Palliyar, Polaiyar, 
Pulayar, Holiyar, Pulindas {UovXivhaC) , Pundras, Pallis, 
Palas, PaliSj Pallavas (Palhavas^ Pahlavas, Pahnavas, 
Plavas), Pandyas, Ballas, Bhallas, Bhils (Bhillas, ^vXkl- 
rat), Bhillalas, Ballalas, Vellalar, Velamas (Vallamas, 
Vallambams), Valluvar, &c.^° 

The Rgveda only rarely confers special names on the 
Indians who opposed the Aryans, and these names wherever 
they occur cannot be easily recognised and explained. 

On the other hand the Indian gods adopted, particularly 
in later times, the names of the demons they had defeated in 

'" The Mftvglla or Mdvellaka whom Lassen in his Indische Alterthums- 
knnde (vol. I, p. 751, or 605) identifies with the Megalloi of Megasthenea 
as occupying Mflrwar, might perhaps ho added to this list. 


comlDat in order to perpetuate the memory of their victories. 
A. natural assumption leads one to infer that the names of 
the conquered demons or Asuras represent those of the forces 
they led to battle, and that the Asuras Malta, Bala, Bali, 
Bala, Bali or Vali, Vala ^^ and others were chiefs of the 
aboriginal race. 

Krsna is thus called Mallari,'^ the enemy or destroyer of 
the Asura Ma lla ; Indra is renowned as Valadvis or Valana- 
sana, enemy or destroyer of the demon Vala,^' the brother 
of Vrtra, and as Balanasana and Balarati, enemy or destroyer 
of Bala}^ Visnu goes by the name of Balidhvaiiisin,^^ for 
he defeated the great giant king Bali in the shape of a 
dwarf in the Vamana Avatara. Eama covers his name with 
doubtful glory by killing in unfair fight the mighty so- 
called monkey -king Bali or Yali, the brother of Sugriva ; 
hence Rama's name Balihantr. 

" Though Vala need not he taken in the Egvgda as a demon, he is 
regarded as such in later works. He may perhaps have been confounded 
later on with Bala. 

'2 Malldri or Ualhdrl is in the Maratha country regarded as an incarna- 
tion of Siva, and is also called Khandoha. 

13 Or Valahhit, Valavrtraghna, Valavrtrahan, Valasudana, Valahantr, 
and Valarati. 

" Or Balanisudana, Balahhit and Balasudana. 

'' Or Balindama, Balibandhana and Balihan. Bali or Mahahali was the 
son of Virocana, and father of Bana. He ruled over the three worlds, estah- 
lished, according to the Matsya-Purftna, at the desire of Brahma, the four 
castes, and was eventually reduced by Visnu to become the king of Patala. 
He is still the most popular legendary king among the whole Hindu popu- 
lation, especially in South-India. We find a Mahdbalipura on the Son river 
in the North, and near Madras in the South. The people remember to this 
day the prosperity enjoyed under his sway. Once a year Bali is said to 
visit the earth, but this visit is not celebrated simultaneously throughout 
India. His greatest feast falls on the fuUmoon in the month of Karttiki, 
when the corn standing in the fields, the cow-houses, wells, and particularly 
the dwelling-houses, are illuminated with lamps. In Mysore popular songs 
are sung in his praise on the last day of the Navaratri. The Hindu people 
worship him also during the Pongal, when gourds (in Sanskrit kusmanda) are 
given to Brahmans. Bali is worshipped in Malabar on the Onam festival. 
He does not die and is one of the seven Cirajivins. 


Beginning or Peaceful Intercourse and Intermar- 
riage BETWEEN Aryans and Deavidians. 
With the decrease of the Aryan immigration into India, 
their actual conquests ceased and the new comers, once 
established in the country, devised more peaceful means to 
perpetuate and extend their power. Colonists and mis- 
sionaries visited the hitherto unapproached provinces and 
tried to win by their superior knowledge and civilisation 
the good will of the natives. Intermarriage recommended 
itself as the most efficient means to gain this object, though 
the race-pride of the conquering nation shrank from such 

In order to sanction them the example of the gods was 
needed, and Subrahmanya, the South-Indian representa- 
tive of Xarttikeya, the son of Siva, who delights to reside 
in wild forests and weird mountain tops is credited with 
having chosen a South-Indian girl called Valli ^^ as his wife. 
Valli is a well-known female name common among the 
Pariahs and Pallar, the Pallis and other Sudras, and corres- 
ponds to the equally-widely used man's name Malla. Valli 
is also celebrated as the Amman of Vaisnava gods." The 

'^ He 13 the presiding deity of many moimtains, as Tirupparahkunran , 
Cdmimalai (or Palani), Cdln-imrilai, &c., and is thus, among other titles, called 
the ruler of the Palani mountain, Palani A^di or Andavar. 

Two wives are generally assigned to Subrahmanya. They are called 
DevasSna (contrauted in colloquial Tamil into Tsvanai) and VaUi. (Valli- 
D^vasenftsameta-Subrahmanyasvamini? namah.) Subrahmanya is therefore 
also called in Tamil Vajlimanlnv)dlan, or husband of VaUi. 

" The popular derivation of Triplicane (Tiruvallikkeni) i from Alii, 
^euetH, a kind of water lily ; which explanation I believe to be wrong. 
According to the Sthalapui-ana of Triplicane Xdi-ada goes to Kailasa to as- 
certain from ParamSSvara the position of Brndarauya which lies north-east 
of Tirunlrmalai near Pallavaram. The sage Bhrgu lived there near a pond 
full of lotus, called Kairavinl. He worshipped the 5 gods of the place, 
especially Ranganatha, who slept under a sandal tree. Near it Bhrgu found 
a little girl whom he gave to his wife to nurse. He called her Vedavalli, 
and married her in due time as VedavaUi Tayar to Ranganathasvami &o. 
The ancient temple tank in Triplicane is called Vedavallipuskarinl. 


principal goddess in Trix^lioane, who, as Amman presides over 
the Ksetram and to whom the temple-compound belongs, is 
Yedavalli. The god Parthasarathi is only lodging there as 
her guest.i* In Tiruvallur the Amman is called Kanakavaili, 
in Chidambaram Pankajavalli, in Rrimusnam Amhujavalli, 
in Kumbhakonam there are two, a Komalavalli and a Vijaya- 
valli, in Mannargudi a Campakavalli, and in Tirumalirun- 
colai as well as in Nagapatam there is a Sundaravalli, &e. 
The derivation of Valli in these names from the Sanskrit 
Valli, creeper, appears doubtful, especially if one considers 
that Subrahmanya's wife, Valli, was a low-caste South- 
Indian woman, that the Saiva preceded the Vaisnava creed, 
and that Saiva temples were occasionally turned into Vaisnava 
temples. Parvati, the wife of Siva and daughter of the 
mountain Himalaya, is even worshipped as a Pariah woman 
in her disguise as Matangl. This word is derived from 
Matanga, which signifies a wild mountaineer.^* 

'* The difference between Amman and Ammal (both meaning mother) 
is that the former expression refers only to goddesses, while the latter is 
applied both to goddesses and mortal women. 

" The Syamaladandaka ascribed to Kalidasa contains the following 
^l8ka concerning Matangl : — 

Manikyavlnam upalalayantim 

madalasam manjulavagvilasam 
Matarigakanyam manasa smarami. 
It is perhaps not impossible that there exists a connection between 
Mdtanga and Mdlahga. The d and the I are occasionally interchanged, 
compare the Greek Saftpu with the Latin lacryma. The Malayalis consis- 
tently pronounce an I instead of a i, e.g., for tasmdt karonat they say tatmal 
karandl. In Marathi the word Matanga has been contracted into Ma*ga, 
seep. 66. Compare also the Dravidian roots pala aadpandu, old. Telugu 
has besides pandu also pdta. 

The Amarako^a, II, Sudravarga (X) 20, 21, contains the following SlOkas 
concerning the Matanga and other out -castes. 

Slieddh R i rdla-Sabarn-Fulindd Mlecchajatayah. 




The Mallas. 

The name of the Mallas appears in various forma in 
Sanskrit literature. As the name of a people, we meet it 
in Malaka, Malada, Malaja, Malla, Mallaka, Mallava, Mala, 
Malava^ Malavarti^ &o. ; as the name of a demon in Malayaja 
(Rahu), Malla (perhaps also if not connected with maid, 
garland, in Malyavan and Malini), &o. ; as the name of a 
human being in Malayaketu^ Malayadhvaja, Malayanarapati, 
Malayaprabha, Malayasimha, Malay agandhini, Malayava- 
sini, Malavi, &c. ; as the name of a country in Malaya, 
Malayadesa, Malayabhnmi, Mallabhumi, Mallarastra, Mala, 
Malava, Malavadesa, Malavaka, &o. ; as the name of a 
mountain or mountain-range in Malaktita, Malaya, Malaya- 
parvata, Malayabhubhrt, Malayacala, Malayadri, Malyavan, 
&o. ; as the name of a ricer in Malavi, &c. ; as the name of a 
town in Malayapura, Mallapura, Mallavastu, Mallaprastha, 
&c. ; as the name of a plant in Malayaja, Malayadruma, 
Malayodbhava (sandal) ; Mallaja (Vellaja, black pepper), 
&o., &c. 

If we include in this list some variations of the sound 
Malla, we may mention the three mind-born sons of Brahma, 
the famous Prajapatis Marici, Pulaha, and Pulastya, who 
had among their progeny the most reputed Daityas or Rak- 
sasas, as well as the demon Puloman, whom Indra killed, in 
order to obviate the curse pronounced against him for his 
having violated Puloman's daughter ^aei. The name Mai wi 
occurs also among the Daityas, Maraka among the nations, 
and mallaja, black pepper, is likewise called inarica or 

Maru means in Sanskrit a desert and a mountain, and 
the expression Marubhtl is specially applied to Marwar, but 
its inhabitants as well as the Mhars are the representatives 


of an old Dravidian stock, like their namesakes the Maravar, 
mpsuir, in South-India. It is in itself very improbable, 
that these tribes should have obtained their name from 
a foreign source, and it would not be very ventui-esome to 
conjecture without any further authentic proof, that there 
existed in the ancient Dravidian dialect a word mar or marai 
for mountain, corresponding to the synonymous Tamil words 
par and pdrai. And in fact mar in the language of the 
original inhabitants of Marwar means hill, and the Mars or 
Mhars are in reality kill men.^" 

The Mallas, as a nation, are repeatedly mentioned in 
the Mahabharata, Harivariisa, in various Puxanas, the Brhat- 
sarhhita, the Lalitavistara and elsewhere. Mallabhiimi and 
Mallarastra, which as well as Malayabhumi refer to the 
northern parts of India, occur in the Eamayana and Maha- 
bharata. The Siddhantakaumudi mentions in a passage that 
refers to Panini, V. 3, 114^ the Malldh instead of Bhallah, 
which latter expression is found in the commentary to 
Dr. 0. V. Bohtlingk's edition of Panini. This quotation is 
significant as the Brhatsamhita mentions likewise the Bhal- 
las, who represent the modern Bhillas or Bhils. Bhalla and 
BhiUa are identical with Malla and are only different pro- 
nunciations or formations of the same word. 

The Mallas are specially brought to our notice by the 
circumstance that Buddha, the great reformer of India, 
preferred to die among the Mallas in Kusinagara. The 
citizens, when they heard of the arrival of the dying saint, 
met him sorrowfully, and among the last acts of Buddha was 
that he appointed the Malla Subhadra as an Arhat. This 
connection of Buddha with the Mallas appears strange and 

20 See Lieut. -Col. James Tod's Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan; 
Louden 1829, vol. I, p. 680 : The Mair or Mera is the mountaineer of 
Eajpootana, La the country he inhaWts is styled Mainoarra, or " the 
region of hills." 


strengthens the doubt whether Buddha was an Arj^an at 
all. His name of Sakyamuni and bis relationship with the 
Sakya race has been taken as a reason to associate his name 
with the Scythian tribes, who had for some time previously 
been invading north-western India. However this may be, 
Buddha's friendship with the Mallas supports his non- Aryan 
origin. The enmity which existed between the kings of 
KoSala and the Sakya princes is of itself significant, leaving 
altogether out of consideration the question whether Buddha 
was a prince or not. Moreover the inimical position which 
Buddhism soon assumed towards Brahmanism, the great 
hold the former took on the non-Brahmanical population, 
which rushed to be received into its fold, makes the conjecture 
of Buddha's non- Aryan origin rather probable. 

Another branch of the Mallas came into collision with 
Alexander the Great, while he was progressing towards 
the South along the valley of the Indus. In the fight which 
ensued during his attack on their city he was, as is well 
known, severely wounded. This happened not far from the 
present Multan, which word I assume to denote Mallasthana, 
the place of the Mallas, not Mulasthana, as has been assiuned 
hitherto. In fact Sir Alexander Burnes states in his 
Tirwels into Bokhara (vol. Ill, p. 114) that " Mooltan is 
styled ' Malli than,' or ' Mali tharun ' the place of the 
Malli, to this day." 

Malayaketu, the son of the mountain king Parvataka, 
who figures in the drama Mudraraksasa, represents the 
northern branch of the Mallas, settled in Malayabhumi, 
near the Himalaya while the Pandya kings Malayadhvaja, 
Malayanarapati, Malayaprabha, Malayasiiiiha and others are 
representatives of the south. 

Even to this day the name of the Mallas is preserved 
among the population all over India, for the Malas (Mais), 


Mala Arayar or Malai Ara&ar, Malacar, ^^ Malayalis, Mala- 
vas (Malvas), Malair (Maler or Paharias), Majlar, Mars 
(Maras, Mhars, Mahars, Maharas), Maris, Maravar, &c., as 
they are named in different places, are found scattered all 
over the country. 

The word Malla also shows in its Tarious meanings 
all the vicissitudes to which individuals and nations are 
alike exposed. When the bearers of the name were prosperous 
in the enjoyment of wealth and power, kings were proud to 
combine the term Malla with their own appellation in order 
to add further splendour to themselves, so that the word 
Mallaha assumed also the meaning of royal, as in the Mrccha- 
katika ;^^ yet when the wheel of fortune turned and the star 
of the Mallas had sunk beneath the horizon, the former term 
of honour became degraded into a byname of opprobrium 
and was applied to the lowest population, so that Malavadu 
is in modem Telugu the equivalent of Pariah. 

Still the recollection of former splendour is not forgotten 
and is cherished among the Pariahs or Malas. The 
Pariahs or Mahars of the Maratha country claim thus to 
have once been the rulers of Maharastra. And this is not 
improbable, for not only are the Mahars found all over the 
country, but philological evidence is also in their favour. An 
old tradition divides the Dravida and Grauda Brahmans into 

^' See Lassen's Indische Alterthumskunde, vol. I, pp. 433, 434 (364), 
note 1: "Die Malasir (Malliars, Journal of the R.A.S., II, 336) im Waldge- 
tirge Malabars, haben keine Brahmanen oder Guru, verehren als ihren 
Gott MaUung einen Stein. Auch die Pariar Malabar's haben in ihren 
Tempeln nur Steine." "Each village (of the Mala Arayar) has its priest, 
who, when required, calls on the Hill (Mala), which means the demon resi- 
dent there ;" see Native Life in Travancore, by the Rev. S. Mateer, p. 77. 
See note 28. 

2^ Compare such names as Yuddhamalla, Jagadskamalla, TrailOtamalla, 
AhavamaUa, TribhuvanamaUa, &c. See about the Malla Era, Arehmolo- 
gioal Survey of India, toI. VIII, p. 203 ff, and about Mallaka, Wilson's 
Theatre of the Hindus, toI. I, p. 134. 


five classes. The Slokas whicli contain this statement are as 
follows : — 

Maharastrandhradravidah karnataSoaiva gurjarah 

Dravidah panoadha prokta Vindliyadaksinavasinali. 

Sarasvatah kanyakubja gaudotkalasoa maithilah. 

Graudah pancavidlia prokta VindhyaduttaraTasinah. 

Except the term Mahdrdstra , all the other names refer 
to Indian tribes. It may be presumed therefore that this is 
true likewise in the case of Mahirastra, and that this name 
should not be explained by " Great Kingdom." Maharastra 
was also called Mallarastra, the country of the Mallas. 
The Mallas are the same as the Maras, who are better 
known as Mars or Mhars. Mhar was eventually trans- 
formed into Mahar ; in fact both forms exist in modern 
Marathi. Two terms identical in meaning Mallarastra 
and Mahdrdstra were thus used. The former dropped into 
oblivion, and with the waning fortunes of the Mahars, 
their connection with the name was soon forgotten and 
Maharastra was explained as meaning the "Grreat Kingdom" 
instead of the Kingdom of the Mahars or Mallas. It is 
indeed curious that the word Pariah has still in Marathi, 
the meaning of Mahara, for the term Parardrl corresponds 
to Pariah, and is used in Marathi in a general way as a 
courteous or conciliatory term for a Mahar. ^ ' 

2' There exist other SlStag about this division. The SJcanda-Purdna 
contains the ahovementioned SlOkas also in the following form : — 

KarnataScaiva Dra-idda Gurjara Eastravasinah 

Andhragca Dravidah pafica Vindhyadaksinavasinah. 

Sarasvatah Kanyaknhj a G-auda-Maithilakotkalah 

Panoa Gauda iti khyata Vindhasyottaravasinah. 
According to Dr. John Wilson : " Maharatta is the Pali form of Maha- 
rashtra, which with the variant reading Mallarashtra appears in several of 
the Puranas. . Now, Maharashtra jna^j mean 'the country of the MahdrSy^ n- 
trihe still known in the province, though in a degraded position, and still so 
numerous throughout the Maratha country that there runs the proverb, Jetiye 


The proper names of Mallayija and Malladu, common 
among the Sudxa and Pariah population of Southern India, 
are occasionally like Kuppayija and VSmhayya ^* given 
among Brahmans and other high- caste people to a hoy, 
when the parents have previously lost two or more children. 
By this act of humility, displayed in giving a low name 
to their child, they hope to propitiate the deity and obtain 
for their offspring the health of a poor man's child. "With 
that object they even throw the infant into a dunghill or 
huppa (Tamil kuppai) ; a practice which has given rise to the 
name of Kuppayya. 

Step by step the Dravidians receded from Northern India, 
though they never left it altogether. The Brahmanical 
supremacy deprived them of their independence, yet not all 
submitted to Aryan customs and manners. Scattered remains 
of the Mallas exist, as we have seen, to this day in North- 

The immense chain of the Vindhya mountains acted as 
a protecting barrier, otherwise the Dravidians in the south, 

ganva tenye Mahara vada. ' Wherever there is a village there ia the Mahar 
ward. ' The Mahars are mentioned hy the cognomen which they still hear 
that of Parwari {Uapovapoi) by Ptolemy, in the second century of the Chris- 
tian era ; and in his days they were eridently a people of distinct geogra- 
phical recognition." See Dr. John Wilson's Ifbtes on the Constituent 
Elements. . of the Mardthl language, p. xxiii in the second edition of the 
Dictionary Marathi and English, compiled by J. T. Molesworth, Bombay, 
1857.— Consult too Dr. John Wilson's Indian Caste, vol. II, p. 48 : "The 
Mahars, who form one of its (Maharashtra's) old degraded tribes, and are 
everywhere found in the province say, that Maharashtra means the country 
of the Mahars." Compare Notes on Castes in the Dekhau, by W. F. Sinclair, 
Indian Antiquary, vol. II (1874), p. 130. See also Col. Dalton's Ethnology 
of Bengal, p. 264 : " We have a tribe called Mai or Mftr, scattered over 
Sirguja, Palamau, Belounja, &c." 

In the Vishnupurdpa of H. H. Wilson, edited by Pitzedward Hall, vol. 
II, p. 165, Mallarastra is called Vallirdstra, and it is conjectured that 
Mallardstra may be identical with the Maharastra (the Mahratta country) of 
the Puranas. 

'^ Vembayya is called after Vembu, the Margosa tree, the representative of 
bitterness. Death should regard in consequence the child as too bitter and 
too worthless to carry it off. 


unlike their brothers in the north, would not have remained 
so unmolested. In fact the Vindhya mountains were by- 
degrees recognized as constituting the natural frontier 
between the Aryanised nations of the north and the Dravi- 
dians of the south. 

Aryan colonisation progressed slowly in the south. The 
first missionaries appear to have been only visitors and 
sojourners not permanent settlers in the country, whence 
they retraced their steps homewards. 

The holy Agastya, according to one tradition^* a grandson 
of Brahma, a son of Pulastya, a brother of Visravas and an 
uncle of the Raksasa king, Ravana, is said to have remained 
in the South. Many miraculous deeds are ascribed to this 
diminutive sage. He is said to have been instrumental in 
the destruction of the powerful Nahusa, to have consumed 
and digested the Eaksasa Vatapi, to have drunk the waters 
of the ocean, and to have forced the Vindhya mountains to 
prostrate themselves before him. This last feat was intended 
to symbolize the fact that he having settled down for good 
in Dravlda, became the originator of Brahmanical coloni- 
sation. For he exacted from the insurmountable Vindhya, 
who was lying at his feet, the promise not to rise again 
until he had returned and recrossed, and as Agastya did not 
come back, the Vindhya could not lift its head again, and 
since then the mountain became passable for future immi- 

-^ According to anotlier tradition he was bom together with T'asistlia in 
a waterjar (therefore called Kamhhnsamhhava, Kiunbhayoni and Ghatodbhava) 
as the son of Mitra and Varuna (therefore Maitracdruni) and of the Apsaras 
Ufran. In the Svayamhhuva Manvantara the name of Agastya, as the son 
of Pulastya and Priti, is Dattoli. According to the Bhagavata-Purana 
Agastya was the son of Pulastya and of Havirbhu and was called in a 
\>TQvion3'hiTt'h Dahrd(/ni or Jatharar/iii. (Sec Vishnupur. , yo\. Xj'p. lo4.) He 
is also called Fitdbdhi as Ocean-drinker and Vdtajfidvls^ as destroyer of Vatftpi. 
His abode is fixed on the mountain Kunjara. Many hymns of the Egveda 
are ascribed to him. Lassen (vol. II, p. 23) has pointed out the incongruity 
of the reports respecting the time when he lived, as he is mentioned both as 
a conteniporrry of Anaataguna and of Klrtipufaija Pandya. 


grants. Agastya's residence is said to have been the 
mountain Malayam or Potiyam, not far distant from Cape 
Comorin ; in the firmament he shines as the star Canopus. 
To him is ascribed the civilisation of South -India, in fact 
the most famous ancient Tamil works in nearly every branch 
of science, such as divinity, astronomy, grammar, and medi- 
cine are attributed to him. In consequence he is specially 
called the Tamil sage (^"Stp (Lpssfl). 

Explanation of the teems Dravida, Tamil 
AND Aravam. 

Sanskrit is called in South-India the northern language or 
pa to moU, eui— Qlditl^, while the Dravidian goes by the name 
of the southern language, or ten moli Qflasr Olq^-l^. Previous 
researches have established the fact that the words Dravida 
and Tamil are identical in meaning, that both resemble each 
other in form, and that Tamil seems to be a derivative from 
Dravida. Yet the origin of the word Dravida has hitherto 
not been explained. Though Dravida is generally restricted 
to denote Tamil : Dravida, Dramida or Dramila is also 
applied to denote ancient Malayalam ; in fact it is properly 
speaking applicable to all the Dravidian languages. The 
word Dramila occurs also in Sanskrit literature. I derive 
Dramila from Tlnmiala and explain it to signify the sacred 
Mala language, as Sanskrit is kut i^o-^^v the refined 
Aryan language. 

It is immaterial to us whether Tint is an original Dra- 
vidian word, or a derivation from the Sanskrit Sri, prosperity. 
Some of the best Tamil scholars of the past as well as of 
the present day have declared in favour of tiru being a pure 
Dravidian word, and this has all along been my opinion also. 
Tiru was probably in course of time changed to tira or tara, 
then contracted to tra or dra, and finally to ia (da), both 
letters t and d being identical. The Veda is called in Tamil 
Tiruvdy, the sacred word, and its Tamil adaptation specially 



used by Vaisnavas is the well-known Tiruvay Moli. Tiruvay 
was eventually changed to Taramy, which is now generally 
used in the sense of Veda-rcading. The word Ottu does thus 
in Malayalam signify Yeda and Veda-reading. The tini of 
Tiruvallankodu has been similarly changed to tra in Travan- 
core, both alterations— Dravida and Travanoore — being no 
doubt due to the same Aryan influence. From Dramala to 
Dramila, Damila and Tamil is a short step, unless Tamil is 
directly derived from Tixumala. Dramila, Dramida and 
Dra^ada are Aryan corruptions of Tirumala and found 
re-admission into the South-Indian languages as foreign 
expressions, whose signification was forgotten and defied 
explanation. I recognize the name Tirumala also in the 
Tamala or Damala of Ddmahi raruhhaijam near Pdndamanga- 
Inm in the Trichinopoly district. Pandamangalam is regarded 
as the old capital of the former kings, among whom the name 
Tirumala did not unfrequently occur. Ubhayam (s-uinta) 
is anything offered or devoted to religious purposes, and 
Ddmalavar ubhayam denotes therefore the offering of the 
Tirumala people, var being used as the aflix of the Tamil 
pronoun of the third person plural. Tinimalardja is in 
colloquial Telugu often called Tiramalarayalu, as Tirupati 
becomes Tirapati. Like Ddiiuilacaruhhayam might be men- 
tioned Ddmalaceruvu in North-Arcot, Bdmal in Ohingleput, 
Damalapddi in Tanjore and others. I have been informed on 
good authority that the last place is to this day also known 
as Tirumalapadi. Yet, my derivation of Tirumala does not 
require the support of the etymology of these names. 

Another but rarer form of Dramila is Drimila, which is 
derived from Tinimila, as Tripati from Tirujmfi, Trikovil for 
Tirukocil, or Trikal for Tinikdl. The fact of the term Tamil 
being the ultimate derivative from Tirumala (Tramala) and 
denoting a special Dravidian dialect will perhaps serve in 
future researches as an historical clue for fixing the period 
when the various vernaculars of Southern India became sepa- 


rate and distinct languages. If the Limijrike (Ai,yi,vpiKr\) of 
Ptolemy (VII, 1, 8 and 85) is the Dimirica repeatedly men- 
tioned in the Cosmography of the anonymous geographer 
of Ravenna, as Bishop Caldwell has clearly pointed out by 
identifying it with Damirice or the Tamil country (see p. 14 
of the Introduction to the second edition of the Oomparntive 
Dravidian Grammar), the work of Ptolemy contains the 
earliest mention of the word Tamil. 

All these permutations prove the continual interchange 
of m with the other labial consonants, and of / into the d and 
r sounds.^® 

2^ Witli respeet to the above-mentioned conjectures a few observations 
are perhaps necessary. 

The change of a into i and vice versd is not rare, as in mala and inila, 
Damirica and Dimirica, Ufa, open, and tara. Sea., Sen. Tiniudy and its slang 
alteration into Taravay a,re both Tamil words, though the latter common form 
has been introduced into Telugu by Telugu J3rahmans — especially by Vais- 
nava Telugu Brahmans — -who live in the Tamil country, and has thus found 
its way even into modern Telugu dictionaries. The term Taravay for Veda- 
dhyayana or Vedopakrama is neither found in Kanarese and Malay alam, 
nor in pure Telugu. The most important lesson which Brahman boys have 
to learn at and after their Upanayanam or investiture with the holy thread 
are Veda mantras. Children generally alter words so as to suit their pro- 
nunciation, and Tamil boys most probably invented Taravay for Tirumy as 
they say tara, open, instead of tira. This corrupted form found eventually 
access into common Tamil, for up to this moment Taravay is only considered 
a slang term. The origin of the word once forgotten, tara of taravay, was 
connected with the word laram in the meaning of time (once, twice, &c.), 
and as every lesson in order to be known must be repeated, so also the reciting 
of the Veda after so many times or taram. It seems to be overlooked by 
those, who prefer this explanation, that the term Taravay is only applied to the 
repetition of the Veda and not to any other repetition, that if tara had been 
taken in the senss of " time," it ought to be at the end of the word, and that 
the syllable vay gives no sense in taravay unless it is accepted as meaning 
Veda or holy word. Taravay, taruvay, in taravata and taruvdta, occur in 
Telugu in the meaning of afterwards, as do in Kanarese taravdya and taru. 
vdya ; but these words have nothing in common with the above-mentioned 
Tamil Taravay. The elision of an r is also not unfrequent, as trdguta, to 
drink, in Telugu becomes generally tdguta. Already Bishop Caldwell was 
struck with the strange formation of the word Dravida, for he says : " The 
compound dr is quite un-Dravidian. It would be tira in Tamil ; but even 
if we suppose some such word as Tiravida or Tiramida to have been con- 
verted into Dravida by the Sanskrit-speaking people, we get no nearer to. 


The Telugu, Kanarese and other cognate northern races, 
when they had forgotten their claim to the name of Dra- 
vidians, called the Tamil language Aravam. This word 
Aravam is most likely a corruption of Dravidam. Dravidam 
or Dramilam became in its turn Daramidam (Daramilam), 
Aravidam (Ara\ilam), and finally Aravam.^' However 
peculiar these changes may appear to the uninitiated, to 
the scientific philologist they can afford no special difhculty. 
Even in Sanskrit we occasionally observe an initial d 
dropped, e.g., in asru, tear, which is haKpv in Greek, thrdne 
in German, and lacnjma in Latin ; while the elision of 

an explanation of the original meaning of the word." See Introduction 
to Comparative Ilravtdtn)^ Gyaminar, p. 13. 

The name Tinunala hecomes in colloquial Telugu also Tiramala, Tirmala 
and Timma. This last word must he distinguished from Timiita for tim- 
mi(c!u or timmanna, monkey. Similarly does iuuibulamu, hetel, become tama- 
lamu (or tammalamu) and tamma ; and tdmara, lotus, tauiini. 

In Tamil the verb oiii (|B<^) means to recite the Vada, while ottu 
(sB^^) signifies the Veda itself. Both words are Tadhhavams formed 
from the Sanskrit word Teda. 

^' The Tamil form Tirariditm for Dravidam appears to prove that the origin 
of the word/>/rtiJ^a had been forgotten, when it was re-introduced into Tamil. 
As the Telugu and Kanarese languages do not insert an i between two con- 
sonants in the same manner as Tamil does, the derivation of Aravam from 
Dravidam gains in probability. In Kanarese the Tamil people are besides 
called Tigahi-r, which I am inclined to consider also as a oorruptionfor Trimala. 
The r in the first syllable was dropped, and the labial in the second has 
been changed into a guttural (/, as is not mifrequent ; compare, e.g., Kudaman 
and Kudavan with Kudagan. Tigala and Arara have in this case the same 
meaning. I am aware that the Kov. Mr. Kittel, whose opinion carries 
much weight, has declared that the original form of Tig a(or {Tigular) was 

The derivations of Aniram hitherto proposed appear to me to he in- 
appropriate. Dr. Gundert thought it could be connected with aram, virtue, 
and araran woiild have the meaning of a moralist. Others preferred the 
Tamil word arira, knowledge, and ariran or aravan represented thus the 
TamuUan as the intelligent person of the South, others derived it from an 
obscure Tamil district Antra. The defect of these etymologies is the fact that 
the Tamil people ignore the word aravam, so far as their name is concerned. 
The Telugu pandits are in favor of arara meaning a-rara, without sound, for 
the Tamil language does not possess aspirates, or is according to others rather 
rough ; while some Kanarese pandits proposed as its root the Kanarese word 
arani., half, or deficient, as the ancient Kanarese people are said to have 


medial consonants is not at all unusual in the Indian vernacu- 
lars, Bestdramu, Thursday, in Telugu, e.g., for Brhaspativara, 
jannidamu for yajnopavita, dnati for ajnapti. 

The importance I attach to the derivation of Dravidian 
from Tirumala in the specified sense can be duly appre- 
ciated only when one considers that it establishes at once the 
prominent position the Malas (Mallas) or Dravidians occupied 
in the whole of India. It may perhaps be interesting to quote 
from the eloquent preface of Hodgson on the Kocch, Bodo, 
and Dhimal Tribes the foUowiag sentences, in which the term 
Tamulian is employed as equivalent to Dravidian. " The 
" Tamulian race, confined to India and never distinguished 
" by mental culture, offers, it must be confessed, a far less 
" gorgeous subject for inquiry than the Arian. But, as the 
" moral and physical condition of many of these scattered 
"members of the Tamulian body is still nearly as little 
" known as is the assumed pristine entirety and unity 
"of that body, it is clear that this subject had two parts, 
"each of which may be easily shown to be of high 
" interest, not merely to the philosopher but to the states- 
"man. The Tamulians are now, for the most part, British 
" subjects : they are counted by millions, extending from 
" the snows to the Cape (Comorin) ; and, lastly, they are as 
" much superior to the Arian Hindus in freedom from dis- 
" qualifying prejudices as they are inferior to them in know- 
" ledge and all its train of appliances. Let then the student 
" of the progress of society, of the fate and fortunes of the 
" human race, instead of poring over a mere sketch of the past. 

regarded Tamil to be a deficient language. Bishop Caldwell has treated at 
some length on this subject in his Introduction, pp. 18-20. 

The initial consonant is often dropped in Dravidian languages, e.g., in 
Tamil Aval, assembly, for cavai ; alliyam, village of herdsmen, for valUyam ; 
alai, rat hole, for valai and palai ; amar, war, from Sanskrit samara ; alam, 
plough, from Sanskrit hala ; ita, agreeable, from Sanskrit hita ; in Telugu 
esa, haste, for vesa ; ella, white, for tella ; eyuta, to throw, for veyuta ; enu, 
1, for nenu ; wu, thou, for nwu ; emu, we, for iriernu, &c., &c. 


" address himself to the task of preparing full and faithful 
"portraits of what is before his eyes ; and let the statesman 
" profit by the labours of the student; for these primitive races 
" are the ancient inheritors of the whole soil, from all the rich 
" and open parts of which they were wrongfully expelled." 

As points of minor interest I may as well here mention 
that the words Tirumal and Perumal are also derived from 
Mala (Malla). Both terms were originally the titles given 
by the Mallas to their great chiefs and kings. Each Perumal 
was at first elected to rule for a period of twelve years, and 
was chosen from outside the country to govern Malanadu 
or Malay alam. As it often happens elsewhere with royal 
names, these were in later times applied as honorific appel- 
lations to the specially revered god, in this instance to Visuu. 
The terms sacred Mala or the Great Mala being once oon- 
neoted with the deity, lost their original meaning, which 
was in course of time entirely forgotten. This circumstance 
explains their peculiar derivations so often found in Tamil 
dictionaries, and the strange attempts of grammarians to 
explain their startling formations. The name of Perumal, 
the great Mala, is still a royal title in Malabar.^' 


The Pariah (Paeata, Paharia), Brahdi, Bar (Bhar), 
Mar (Mhar), &c. 

Before I turn to the Mallas known as Pallas, I shall, 
after a few remarks, discuss the position of the Pariahs 

26 The malin Tirumal is generally derived from mal, illusion, while the 
same mdlia Perumal is explained as a change for man in the synonymous 
JPerumdn. The word Tirumal supplies the best evidence of the radical nature 
of the I in Perumal. 

The indigenous title of the South-Indian Csra, Cola and Panijya king 
was Perumal- Mallan was the name of a Perumal who built Mallur in 


and kindred races. The Pallar are described in Dr. 
Winslow's Tamil and English Dictionary as " a low 
dependent caste employed in husbandry, &c., under their 
feudal lords, a peasant tribe dwelling in the south, supposed 
to be a change of Mallar, LDefrmir." Though the Pallar, 
like the Pallis and other tribes regard themselves as the 
descendants of the Pallavas once so powerful, they them- 
selves neither produce nor possess sufficiently reliable his- 
torical evidence in support of their claims, which nevertheless 
may be perfectly weU-founded. I have often but in vain 
tried to obtain some authentic information from the various 
castes in corroboration of their assertions, but I have only 
received vague and unreliable statements. 

Derivation of the word Pariah. 

If] the term Pariah is considered to signify every out- 
oaste from every caste, then the Pariahs, as such, do not 
come within the scope of this discussion ; for though the 
greater part of them belong no doubt to the original or 
rather aboriginal Dravidian population, from which they have 
in later times been severed by hereditary social rules, and 
though they in their turn acknowledge among themselves 
caste distinctions, yet as every outcaste becomes to a certain 
extent a Pariah, the term Pariah does not represent now a 
strictly ethnological sub-division. 

On the other hand it must be admitted that irrespective 
of this foreign element which has been added to the Pariah 
community, the Pariahs represent a distinctly separate class 
of the population, and as such wo have to deal with them here. 
The general name by which the Maratha Pariahs is known 
is Paravdri. 

Polanadu. Mallan is also called a rural deity whieli is set up on the border 
or on the ridges of rice-fields. Compare Dr. G-undert's Malaydlmn I/iction- 
art/, p. 801, and note 21 on p. 21. 


That their name, in spite of its usual derivation from para 
or pared, drum, should rather be connected with the name 
of the original Dravidian population, seems to me to admit 
of no question. The supposition that the Pariahs are the 
drummer-caste and have obtained their name from that 
instrument appears to rest on a weak foundation. It is most 
probably an afterthought, the more easily explicable since 
the lower classes delighted in the noise of the drum, and the 
name of the drum -beating class was transferred to the instru- 
ment by which the Pariah made his presence known. The 
lute of the Candala (the candala-vallakl, canddlilid, cdndalikd, 
kandoli or kanddla-vlad) is similarly named after the Candala, 
and not the Candala after the lute. Moreover, the word^ara 
or parai is, except in Malayalam and Tamil, not found in 
the other Dravidian languages in the sense of drum and at 
the same time as the name of the Pariahs ; for the Pariah is 
called Holeya in Kanarese in spite of pare signifying a drum, 
and in Telugu he is known as Mdlavddu, which word origi- 
nally signifies mouutaiiieer (see pp. 21 and 56). If the 
Pariahs were really the caste of drummers, they would most 
probably be called so, wherever they are found in India. 

I regard the Pariah as the representative of the ancient 
Dravidian population, and as having been condemned to 
supply his name to the lowest layers of the population, as 
the ancient Stidras after their subjugation gave their name 
to the Sudra caste. It will be subsequently shown that the 
Canddlas are among the Gaudians, what the Pariahs are 
among the Dravidians. This connection is even indicated 
by the name of the Candalas, which resembles those of the 
Kandaloi, Khands and Gonds. 

I think that the word Pariah, the Paramrl of the Maratha 
country, is intimately connected with the names of the Paratas, 
Paradas, Paravar, Pardhis, Parheyas, Paharias or Maler, 
Bars (Bhars), Brahuis, Mars (Mhars), &c., &c., and that it 
designated originally a iiiounfaineer, from the Dravidian root 


para, preserved in the Malayalam para, in the Tamil fjar and 
partii, and the Telugu ^wrw. The formation of the word 
Pahdria corresponds probably with that of Muhdra, and as 
Mahara or Mahar is derived from Mhar and Mar, as Bahar 
is from Bhar and Bar, so may also Pahdr be regarded as a 
derivative from Phar and Par.^'' 

" Bishop Caldwell remarks on p. 549 on tMs subject : " It has lieen said 
" that the name Pareiya, or Pariah, is synonymous with that of the Paharias 
"(from pdhdr, a hill), a race of mountaineers, properly called Malers, 
" inhahiting the Rajmaha.1 Hills, in Bengal ; and hence it is argued that the 
" Pareiyas may be considered, like the Paharias, as a race of non-Aryan, non- 
" Dravidian aborigines. It is an error, however, to suppose that there is 
"any connection between those two names. The word Pariah, properly 
"Pareiya, denotes not a mountaineer, but a drummer, a word regularly 
" derived from parei, a drum, especially the great drum used at funerals. 
"The name Pareiya is, in fact, the name of a hereditary occupation, the 
" Pareiyas being the class of people who are generally employed at festivals, 
" and especially at funerals, as drummers." 

The improbability of this derivation, though advocated by such a great 
authority as the highly esteemed and learned Bishop, has been pointed out by 
me. Moreover, it may be remarked that Pariah drummers are not employed 
at the festivals of Brahmans. 

As the Dame of the Pariah is thus by high authorities derived from parai, 
drum, it is here perhaps not out of place to mention some of the various kinds 
of drums used by the natives of Southern India. The drums vary as to 
their size, construction, the material they are made of, and the manner in 
•which they are carried. A Samara (Sanskiit Damaru) is carried by a buU, a 
phanka (Sanskrit Bhakha) on a horse, a Nagard (of Semitic origin, in Arabic, 
e.g. , 8)US ; Tamil Nakard) by an elephant or camel, and a Bher'i (Sanskrit Blien 
(t)) on a cart. Other kinds of drums are carried by men, as the Tappattai, a 
small drum, which hangs from the left shoulder and is beaten under the 
left arm from below with a stick in the right hand, and from above with a 
smaU stick in the left hand. The Tdsd, a small semi-globular shaped drum, 
is worn in front round the neck below the chest and beaten with two small 
sticks. The Bol (Sanskrit BUla) is a big drum which is also carried over 
the neck, but is beaten only with one stick in the right hand and with the 
other hand. The Parai, which has the euphemistic name cf Alankdram, is 
not carried, when beaten, but lies on the ground between the feet of the 
drummer and is used at festivals, weddings, and funerals. It is beaten only 
by a particular class of Pariah the Yettiyan, who burns corpses and digs 
graves It is therefore neither beaten by all Pariahs nor used m common 
life The Tappattai and Td^o, are in fashion among the Pariahs and other 
low classes, though Muhammedans andSudras practise on them occasionally. 
The beaters of the other drums are mostly Sudras. The Kota. and the Todas 
on theN-ilagiri also have the Tappattai and Tasa. The term paTa^ is m 
TamU now used as the general term for drum. I believe that most of the 

34 on the original inhabitants 

The Brahuis. 

On the northern frontier of India near the Bolan Pass 
not far from the seats of the ancient Bhalanas, who are 
mentioned by the bards of the Rg-veda, begins the long 
chain of the Bmhui mountains. This mountain range 
extends continuously from the vicinity of the Bolan pass 
to Cape Monze on the Persian Grulf, and is to this day 
the home of the Dravidian Brahuis, who must be regarded 
as the western borderers of Dravidian India. The origin 

above-mentioned names of the drums are merely imitations of the sounds 
these instruments make. H. H. Wilson introduced by mistake the " Palaya 
or Paraya ' ' in his translation of the second edict of ASoka. The Mdlalu or 
Telugu Pariahs are also called Mamiepiivdndlu or Highlanders ; see hid. 
Anliq., vol. VIII, p. 218. 

Compare Fr. Buchanan's History, Antiquities, Topography and Statistics 
of Eastern India, edited by Montgomery Martin, vol. II, pp. 122, 123: 
'* The mountain tribes are, I believe, the descendants of the original inhabit- 
ants of the country, very little, if at aU, mixed with foreign colonies. Their 
features and complexion resemble those of all the rude tribes, that I have 
seen on the hiUs from the Granges to Malabar, that is on the Vindhya moun- 
tains. Their noses are seldom arched and are rather thick at the points.. 
Their faces are oval. .Their lips are full.. Their eyes.. are exactly like those of 
Europeans." See Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde, vol. I, pp. 454-458 
(1st ed., pp. 380-384) : " Die Paharia uennen sich selbst Malar oder Berg- 
bewohner, . . sie haben dieselben Ziige und die Hautf arbe, wie alle die rohen 
Stamme vom Ganges nach Malabar . . es soU die Sprache der Paharia 
reich an Worten eein, die dem Tamil and Telinga zugleich angehbren." On 
p. 1028 Lassen remarks in note 5 : " Est is zu bemerken, dass Pdrada zwar 
auch Bergbewohner bedeutet haben wird." — I believe that the Parjas of 
Jeypore should be included among these people, though Mr.D. F. Carmichael 
prefers to regard this name as a corruption by metathesis from the Sanskrit 
■word Prajas, subjects. See Manual of the District of Vizagapatam, p. 87 ; 
Madras Census Report of 1871, vol. I, pp. 223-225. — One of the Koli tribes 
on the Mahi Kanta hills is called Pariah. Two Eajput tribes of Mallani are 
known by the name of Paria and Pariaria. 

The fishermen in Tinnevelly are called Paravar (or Paratar and Paratavar). 
According to 5Ir. Simon Casie Chetty in his " Remarks on the Origin and 
History of the Parawas " in vol. IV of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic So- 
ciety, pp. 130-134: "It is the general belief among the Parawas that their 
" original country was Ayudhya, or Oude ; and it appears that previously to 
"the war of the Mahabharat, they inhabited the territory bordering on 
" the river Yamuna, or Jumna... In that section of the Mahabharat entitled 
" Adipurva, it is said, that the king of the Parawas who resided on the banks 
" of the Jumna, having found an infant girl in the beUy of a fish adopted 
" her as his own daughter, giving her the name of Machehakindi, and that 


of the names of the Baluches "o and of the Brahuis is 
unknown, but I believe that they are in some way related 
to, if not indeed identical with, each other. I recognise in 
the name of the Paratas 3' and Paradas who dwelt in North- 
eastern Baluchistan, — which country coincides with the Para- 
dene of Ptolemy,^^ — the origin of the modern word Brahui. 
Both the Sanskrit as well as the Dravidian languages possess 
the two liquids r and /, yet the former letter seems to have 

' ' when she grew up, she was employed (as was customary with the females 
" of the Parawa tribe) to ferry passengers over the river. On a certain day, 
' ' the sage Fdrasara having chanced to meet her at the f eiTy, she became 
" with child by him, and was subsequently delivered of a son, the famous 
" Vyasa, who composed the Puranas. Her great personal charms afterwards 
" induced king Santanu, of the lunar race, to admit her to his royal bed, and 
"by him she became the mother of Vachitravirya, the grandsire of the 
" Pandavaa ani. KauroAxis.. Hence the Para was boast of being allied to the 
' ' lunar race, and call themselves accordingly, besides displaying at their 
" wedding feasts the banners and emblems peculiar to it." 

This is the story of Satyavatl (MatsyagandhV) , the mother of Vyasa by 
Parasara, and of Vicitravlrya and Citrafigada by Santanu, which is told 
in the Adiparva in the 63rd and 100th chapters and elsewhere, as also in 
the Harivamsa, XVIII, 38-45. Compare also J. Talboys "Wheeler's History 
of India, vol. I, pp. 60-62. 

It is peculiar that the Palleva^dlu in the Telagu country who corres- 
pond to the Pajlis in the South are mostly fishermen, though the same term 
pallevdndlu applies also to villagers. In North India a class of fishermen 
is called Malla. The name denotes the tribe and not the occupation. 

^'' The modern Baluches say that they came from Aleppo in Syria. Little 
is known about the origin of their name. It resembles that of the Ballas 
and Bhalanas, though it is unsafe to make any conjecture in this respect. 

^' See Brhatsamhita, x, 5, 7; xiii, 9; xiv, 21, &c. Varahamihira men- 
tions the Paratas together with the Ramatas, and with other nations on the 
northern frontier of India, e.g., Saka-Yavana-Darada-Parata-Kambojah. 
The Paradas occur in Manu (x. 44), in the Eamayana, and repeatedly in the 
Mahabharata, HarivamSa and Visnupiirana. 

It has been also proposed to explain Pdrada as meaning a people living 
across the river, in this case beyond the Indus. Such a name could hardly 
have been assumed by the Paradas themselves, especially if they had never 
crossed the Indus. 

*^ When describing Gedrosia Ptolemy VI, 21, 4, says: la. ^tv oZv iitX 
SaXaaax) ttjs x^P"^ KaTex"""^" 'Ip/3iTa>' Kw/xai, to Se iropo Tr/v Kap/j-aviaf 
Ilap(rlSat(il Tlapirlpai), ra Se iropa Trif 'Apax'^<ria.i' Movffapyatoi, n Se ^eVr; rfli 
X^poii iraa-a Ka\€iTai TlapaSrjy-li, Kal vtt' avT^v napurcTivii, juefl' V Ta irpis t$ 
'IcSip KaTexovffi 'Pa/u.yai. Besides Parade iie may be mentioned as connected by 


been preferred in more ancient times, as is seen, in the 
Vedic words arani, enough, and rardta, forehead, instead of 
the later alam and laldta. The same peculiarity has been 
observed in ancient Iranian, and no valid objection can be 
raised against connecting the word Parthva of the cuneiform 
inscriptions (the classical Parthiva) with Pahlav. The Par- 
thians were Scythians or Turanians and so were the Pallas 
(Mallas) of India and their neighbours on the northern 
frontier of India. 

The power of the Parthians becoming supreme in Persia, 
the name became identified with Persia, and after the disap- 
pearance of the Parthian or Pahlavi kings the words Pahlavi 
assumed in course of time the meaning of ancient Persian 
and even of ancient. It is a curious coincidence that in the 
Dravidian languages also a word resembling Palla in form 
means old, in Tamil and Malayalam pala, in Kanarese ]}ale 
or hale, in Tulu para, etc. Under these circumstances I regard 
the Bra in Brahui as a contraction of Bara, and obtain 
thus in Bwrahui a name whose resemblance to that of the 
ancient Barrhai the modern Bhars, as well as to that of 

similarity of name and vicinity of geographical position the districts Farsia, 
Farsiana and Farsiene, the tribes of the Farnoi (Arsacea and Tiradates are 
said to have been Pamians), Farutai, Farsidai or Farsirai and Farsyetai and 
the mountain range of the Faropainisos. 

According to the command of the king Sagara, the Tavanas shaved their 
heads entirsly, the Sakaa shaved the upper half of their heads, the Faradas 
wore their hair long, and the Pahlavas let their beards grow. (See Hari- 
variisa, XIV. 16-17). 

Sagarah svftm pratijnim ca gurOr vakyam nifemya ca 

dharmam jaghana t6sam vai vgsanyatvam cakara ha. 15 

Arddham Sakanam siraao mundayitva vyasarjayat 

Yavananam fiirah sarvam Kambojanam tathaiva ca, 16 

Paradft muktakletei^ca Pahlavah smasrudharinah 
nissvadhaya vasatkarah krtah t6na mahatmana. 17 

Compare also Vishnu Piirana of H. H. Wilaou, edited by F. Hall, vol. 
Ill, p. 294. 

Bishop Caldwell mentions that the practice of wearing long hair is 
characteristic of the Dravidians. (See Diaridian Grammar, 2nd edit., Intro- 
duction, p. 114.) Beards are also worn by many Dravidian races. 


the Paratas and Paravar, and their kindred the Maratha 
Faravorl and Dravidian Parheyas of Palamau is striting. 
It is also not impossible that the country ParaSa, whicH 
corresponds to Northern Baluchistan and not to Persia, and 
is meutioned in Hiven-Tsiang's travels, contains the same 
name. The interchange of r and I is equally apparent in 
the name of the Maras or Malas of Palamau, who derive 
their origin from Malva. The connecting link between the 
Brahuis and the ancient Dravidians through the Bhars, 
Parheyas, Mars and Malas, &c., seems to be thus established." 

The Bars or Bhars. 

After the Brahuis the aboriginal Indian race of the Bars 
or Bhars claims our attention. The earliest mention of them 
is found in Ptolemy VII, 2, 20, where they are called 

" The late Dr. Trumpp was fully persuaded of the DraTidian character of 
the Brahui language. With respect to the explanation of the name most 
authorities seem to admit that the first syllahle Bra is originally dissyllabic. 
The Journal of the Uoyal Asiatic Society contains in vol. SIX, pp. 59-136 
"An Essay on the Brahui Grammar" after the German of the late 
Dr. Trumpp, of Munich University, by Dr. Theodore Duka, M.R.A.S., 
Surgeon-Major, Bengal Army. On p. 64 we read : " The national name, 
" Br&hdi is pronounced in several ways. Nicolsonand Maulawi Alia Bux 
" spell it Biruhi (that is Biroohi or Birouhi), but we must not forget that 
' ' Biruhi ( f^^f ) is a Sindhi word, and it is therefore difficult to say how 
" the people in question call themselves. In Nicolson's Reader the word 
" occurs twice written ^^»Ji\o, which cannot be pronounced otherwise than 
" Br&hdi or BirahiSi, and this should, therefore, be adopted as the proper 
" pronunciation of the word." 

This statement is not quite correct ; it can as well be pronounced Sarahuit 
for \jj large, is pronounced hara, and oU}, abreast, harabar, &c. 

According to Mr. C. Masson Brahui is a corruption of Ba-roh-i. 

The word Brahui appears to indicate a highlander, for a tribe of the Baluchis 
is called Nhdrui, not a hiU man, i.e., a dweller in the plain. The Nharuia 
"may be considered to hold the same place with reference to the Brahuis that 
'lowlanders' do to ^highlanders '." See Th0 Country of Balochistan, hy 
A. W. Hughes, p. 29. 

My derivation appears thus to have a good foundation. 

See Dr. Fr. Buchanan's Eastern India, edited by M. Martin, vol. II, p. 
126 : " The northern tribe consider their southern neighbours as brethren, 
and call them Maler, the name which they give themselves ; but the southera 
tribe, shocked at the impurity of the others, deny this consanguinity, and 


Barrhai. They do not appear to be specially quoted in 
Sanskrit literature, unless the wild mountaineer tribe of the 
Bhamtas, who ocexir in the dictionaries along with the 
Saharas, is considered identical with them. Sir Henry 
M. Elliot thought that the Bhars might perhaps be the 
Bharatas, whose descent is traced to Jayadhvaja. According 
to the HarivamSa the Bharatas are very numerous. The 
Bhars pronounce their name very harshly, and it is by no 
means impossible that the well-known Aryan word barba- 
rian, Barbara or Varvara in Sanskrit, owes to a certain 
extent its origin to them.^* The Bhar tribe is also known as 
Rajhhdr, Bharat and Bhdrpatva^^ There is some contention 
between the Bhar and the Rajbhar as to superiority, but this 
is a difficult point to decide; some regard the Eajbhars aa 

moat usually call the northern trihe Chet, while they assume to themselves 
the denomination of Mai or Mar, which however is probahly a word of the 
same derivation with Maler." Compare also note 23 on p. 22, and De- 
scriptive Ethnology of Bengal, by Colonel E. T. Dalton, p. 264 : "We have 
a tribe called Mai or Mar. .They declare, they came originally from Malwa. 
. . Malwa is the chief seat of the Bhil race, who are considered aborigines of 
that district. Malavas and Bhils may be identical, and our Pabarias and 
Bhils cognates." 

^* See Genl. Sir A. Cunuingham in his Archmohgical Survey of India, vol. 
XVII, p. 140 : " "We know at least that the Aryans ridiculed the aborigines 
on account of their burr, and gave them the nick name of barbaras, or barba- 
rians, from which we may conclude that any words containing the burred r 
must be indigenous." 

The word barhar is spelt in Hindustani barbar, 5>jj. Compare "Notes on 
the Bhars and other Early Inhabitants of Bundellthand," by Vincent A. 
Smith in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal [1877], vol. XL VI, 
pp. 227-236, where in the first note on p. 227 we read : " The name is 
usually spelt ' Bhar, ' but the spelling ' Bharr ' would more accurately 
represent the pronunciation." 

^ See Sir Henry M. Elliot's Stipplemental Glossary of Indian Terms, vol. 
I, pp. 33 and 34 : " Common tradition assigns to them the . . whole tract from 
Gorakhpllr to Bundelkhand and Saugor, and the large Pargannah of Bhadoi, 
in Benares (formerly Bhardai) is called after their name. Many old stone 
forts, embankments, and subterraneous caverns in GorakhpOr, Azimgarh, 
Jaunpur, Mirzapflr, and Allahabad, which are ascribed to them, would seem 
to indicate no inconsiderable advance in civilization. The wild Bhils of 
Marwar are called Bhaunrls, but I know not whether there is any connexion 
between them and the Bhars. The Bhoyas and Bhuttias of Agon and 


descended from the old Bhar nobility, who themselves claim 
to have been formerly Ksatriyas. They do not eat swine's 
flesh as the Bhars do, and this abstention is regarded as an 
indication of greater respectability. All these races are now 
very much mixed. The Bhars are often mentioned together 
with the Cherus. 

We possess very little information about the ancient 
history of the Bhars. Legend associates their name with 
the earliest Aryan heroes, e.g., with Rama and his sons, but 
the Bhars suddenly disappear from the scene, and, so far 
as history is concerned, reappear just previously to the 
Mahommedan invasion of India, at which period they cer- 
tainly possessed a vast territory, and were indeed the real 
owners of the soil. 

In fact the Bhars must have once ruled over a great area 
of country stretching from Oudh in the west to Behar in the 
east and Chota Nagpur, Bundelkund and Sagar in the south. 
Their name still survives in Bahar, Bahraich (Bharaich), 
Bara, Baragaon, Bara Banki, Barhapara and Barwan in 
Oudh, in Bareilly, Barhaj, Barhar (or Bharhar) in the 
North-Western Provinces, in Bar, Barabar, Baraghi and 
Barhiya in Behar, in Barva in Chota Nagpur, and in many 
other places.^^ Bara in Oudh is said to have been founded 

Singraull, who are generally classed as Ahlrs, may probatly bear some 
relation to the Bhars, though no trace can now he had of their descent. 
The Cherus also are sometimes said to be a branch of the Bhars. . . It is 
strange that no trace of Bhars is to be found in the Puranas, unless we may 
consider that there is an obscure indication of them in the ' Brahma 
Purana,' where it is said that among the descendants of Jayadhvaja are the 
Bharatas, who, it is added, ' are not commonly specified from their great 
number, ' or they may, perhaps, be the Bhargas, of the Mahabharata, 
subdued by Bhim Sen on his Eastern expedition. The Bhars consider 
themselves superior to Eajbhars, notwith.standing the prenomen of Eaj, 
but this claim to superiority is not conceded by the Eajbhars. They do not 
eat or drink with each other." 

See Barivarhia XXXIII, 53 : BharataSca suta jata bahutvannanuklrttitah. 

3« See The Bhars of Audh and Saniras, by Patrick Carnegy, Com- 
missioner of Eai Bareli, Oudh, printed in the Bengal Asiatic Journal, vol. 45, 
p. 303 : " The parganas of Bhardoi, Bharosa, Bahraich, and Bharoli and the 


by a Bhar Raja called Bar a, while the foundation of Bdra 
Hanki is associated with J as, another Bhar Raja. The Linga 
on the top of the Bdrahdr hill near Gaya was according to 
local tradition placed there by a Bar Raja, whose combats 
with Krsna are even now remembered by the people. '' This is 
most probably an allusion to the Asura Bdna, the son of Bali. 
The Bdrhapdra pargana is still populated with aboriginal 
Bhars. The pargana Bhddohi or Bhdrdohi is called after 
them, and the name of the town of Bharaich is also derived 
from their name.'' 

Traces of the former supremacy of the Bhars are found 
scattered all over the country. Most of the stone erections, 
fortifications, as well as the embankments, and the subterranean 
caves in Gorakhpur, Azimgarh, Janpur, Benares, Mirzapur, 
and Allahabad are ascribed to them. Such forts generally 
go now by the name of Bhdr-dih. The grand ruins known 
as those of Pampapura in the neighboui-hood of the modem 

town of Bhartipur (near the Bhar capital, Kusbhawanpur alias Sultftnpur), 
are all believed to derive their names from the Bhars . . Sleeman also mentions 
a large district of nearly a thousand villages near Mahamdi, which even in 
his day was known as Bharwara, now occupied by Ahban Rajpats." Com- 
pare Bengal Asiatic Journal, vol. 46, pp. 227 and 228 : " The former presence 
of the Bhars in the Hamlrpur District is attested by the traditions, which 
will be presently described, and by local names in every pargana. A few 
examples of such names out of many may be of interest ; thus the old 
name of the town of Sumerpur (in Parg. ISumerpur) is Bharua, and in the 
parganas of Maudha, Panwari-Jaitpur, Jalalpur, and Rath, respectively, 
we find localities named Bharsawan, Bharwara, Bharkharl or Barkharl, and 
Bhanraura Kera, and in several of these cases the evidence of the name is 
confirmed by that of tradition." With respect to Baragaon Genl. Sir A. 
Cunningham [Arch<eologieal Survey of India, vol. I, p. 28) says : " By the 
Brahmans these ruins (of Baiugaon) are said to be the ruins of Kundilpur 
. . I doubt the truth of this Brahmanical tradition, more especially as I can 
show beyond all doubt that the remains at Baragaon are the ruins of Nalanda, 
the most famous seat of Buddhist learning in all India." 

**' About Barabar compare Arch. Survey of India, vol. I, pp. 40-53. 
Sir A. Cunningham derives the name from " bara and awara, or Barawara, 
the great enclosure (see p. 43)," as there was an endosui'e on the SiddheSvara 
hill. See ibidem, vol. "VIII, pp. 35-37. 

'* Genl. Sir A. Cunningham identifies the Bardaotis of Ptolemy with 
Bharhut. See Arch. Survey of India, IX, pp. 2-4 and XXI, p. 92. 
Compare also Bengal Asiatic Journal, vol. XVI, pp. 401-416. 


Mirzapur probably owed their origin to the Bhars. Mr. C. A. 
Elliot states that "almost every town whose name does not 
" end in pur, or ahdd, or moir, or is not distinctly derivable 
" from a proper name, is claimed by tradition, in the east of 
" Oudh, as a Bhar town. The district of Bharaioh ... is their 
" oldest abode, and the name of the town Bharaioh is said 
" to be derived from them." Traces of the Bhars abound 
according to Mr. Duthoit, late Superintendent of the Maha- 
raja of Benares, " on all sides in the form of old tanks and 
village forts. One cannot go for three miles in any direc- 
tion without coming upon some of the latter." Not very 
long ago the Bhars were the lords of the soil in the districts 
of Benares and Oudh, and according to the still prevailing 
tradition in Azimgarh, the Raj bhars occupied the country in 
the time of Rama. The structures left by the Bhars prove 
that they were equally proficient in the arts of peace and of 
war. The remains ascribed to them are especially numerous 
in the Benares district. ^^ 

Benares or Varanasi (Baranasi) lies on the banks of the 
Barna (or Varana), where it flows into the Ganges. I am 
of opinion that Bdrdna.-ii owes its name to the Bars or 
Bhars. I assign likewise the name of Behar or Bahar to 
the same origin, especially as the Bhars were once the rulers 
in this district, and as the usual derivation from Vihdra, a 
Baddhist temple, seems to me very problematic, the more so 

3' Compare Sherring's Hindu Tribes and Castes, vol. I, pp. 357-375 on 
tlie Bhar tribe, and the Archaologieal Survey of India, vol. XII, p. 89 : 
"It is said tliat Nagar Khas and Pokhra, and the land generally around 
" the Chando Tal, were originally in the possession of the Bhars, who may 
" possibly, therefore, have founded some of the ancient sites in that 
"neighbourhood." Read also Bengal Asiatic Journal, vol. XLV, p. 305, 
about the Bharddis (or Bhar-abadis). 

On the other hand, Mr. Smith, ididem, vol. XLVI, p. 234, remarks : 
"The Bhars of Bundelkhand, so far as we know them, seem to have 
"possessed little of the arts of civilization, and to have consequently left 
" behind them almost nothing of architectural or artistic interest." 



as Behar was not the only district in India which was covered 
with such religious buildings. Not far north from the old 
town of Behar lies to this day the district and village of Bar. 
Bahar is also the name of a small place in Oudh. It might 
perhaps be advisable to discontinue deriving the names 
of Indian localities from Sanskrit words, as has been usually 
done hitherto, unless where such derivations are well sup- 
ported. Greneral Sir A. Cunningham thinks that too much 
stress has been laid upon the popular traditions which ascribe 
nearly all the ancient remains to the Bhars.*" But, impossible 
though it may be to prove the authenticity of the legends, 
it can hardly be doubted that a good deal of truth does 
underlie them. 

In the explanation of the local names a great difEculty 
arises because many words of Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic and 

*" See Gren. Sir A. Cunningham, Archieological Survetj of India, vol. XI, 
p. 67 : "ft has been the fashion to refer all the remains of antiquity in East- 
ern Oudh to the barbarous race of aboriginal Bhars." 

Instead of proving the incorrectness of such statements, that may be, 
and indeed are, wrong in some cases. Sir Alex. Cunningham substitutes 
another etymology, to which also many real objections can be made. He 
is in favor of substituting for the name of the Bhar people that of the bar 
(banian) tree, which is in Sanskrit Vata. Speaking of the native iurr as 
mentioned on p. 38, in note 34, he continues on p. 140 of vol. XVII : "To 
' ' this class I would refer the name of the banian tree, hat, which is 
" invariably pronounced bar or war, with a burring r. Hence, as da means 
' ' water in several of the aboriginal dialects, we have Wardd, or the ' Banian 
" tree river.' That this is the true derivation of the name seems nearly 
" certain from the plentifulness of the banian tree in the Warda district, 
" where we also find the names of War-ora, Warar, Wargaon, IVarhona, 
" Warha, V^argai, Warjhari, Warkuli, Warnera, and Wadnera, and Sadnera, 
' ' several times repeated ; and even the name of Berar itself is said to be 
" properly War Sdr or Barhdr, the country of the bar, ' a banian tree.' " 

Some of these etymologies appear very doubtful, especially those of 
Wargaon and Berar. I should perhaps remark that the places given by 
Sir Alex. Cunningham differ from those quoted by me on p. 39. It is also 
peculiar that most of the localities above mentioned are written with an 
initial VF. Compare also the notices about the Banian {Bar) forests in 
the Haveli pargana in the Arehaolog ical Survey of India, vol. XVIII, pp. 
52-54, and vol. XXII, pp. 13-15. 


other origin are very similar to the tribal name of the 

These people formed no doubt a considerable portion of 
the old population of Northern India. Though the Aryan 
power was for some time paramount in this part of Bharata- 
varsa, and our historical accounts about the Bhars begin 
at a considerably later period — in fact after the Buddhist 
reformation — we are as yet unable to define the time of the 
supremacy of the Bhars. I am of opinion that the Aryan 
invaders subdued the Bhars, and kept them in the back- 
ground till they in their turn were vanquished by other 
intruders. The non- Aryan population continued to occupy 
the ground as previously in the capacity of landowners, 
farmers and serfs. The Buddhist re- action brought them 
again to the front. Some of them who were landholders or 
farmers were called Bhumiyas, from Bhumi, land, and are 
now known by this name.*^ 

*'E.g., bar, ihdr, bhara, Tjurden; bd7-, signifies also in Hindustani 
according to tlie various words from which it is derived, time, water, prohibi- 
tion, &c. ; bars, boy, barah, twelve, bar, excellent, barr, wasp, bard and 
bard, large, bar, Indian figtree, &c. 

'2 See General Sir A. Cunningham in the Archieological Suirey of India, 
vol. XI, pp. 130-131 : " There is a ruined fort on the hiU above the viUage 
" (Bhuili). The derivation of the name is not known, but I suspect it to be 
" connected with the great tribe of Bhu'ias, and that it may be only a 
" slightly altered form of Bhuidla. The Bhuias are by far the most numer- 
" ous class in the Chunar and Sahsaram districts. They are evidently the 
" aborigines or old inhabitants of the country. Buchanan writes the name 
" Bhungihar, but I beBeve that the proper appellation is simply Bhumia, or 
" men of the earth, or autochthones, a title given to them by the Brahmans. 
" They generally caU themselves Musaliar." 

See the Sistory, Antiquities, Topography and Statistics of Eastern India, 
edited by Montgomery Martin; London, 1883, vol. I, p. 163: "The 
" Bhar have been fuUy mentioned in my account of Puraniya, in the north- 
" western parts of which, and in the adjacent parts of Trrahut and Nepal 
" they were at one time the governing tribe ;" further, pp. 176, 177, 178 : 
" In this district the most numerous of these tribes is called Musahav, and they, 
"probably Uke the Bhungiyas, are the remains of the armies of Jarasandha. 
"In some parts, Musahars and Bhungihars are reckoned two names for 
" the same tribe, which is probably a just opinion (176). The Eajtcars are a 


As many changed or disowned their tribal name, the 
seeming disappearance of the Bhars can be explained to a 
great extent. They were also largely absorbed by other 

" pretty numerous tribe (177). They pretend that their common ancestor waa 
' ' a certain Rishi, who had two sons. From the eldest are descended the 
" Eajwars, who became soldiers and obtained their noble title ; from the 
" younger are descended the Musahars, who have obtained their name from 
*' eating rats which the Rajwars reject. . . They differ in scarcely any of their 
' ' customs from the Musahars .... The Rajivar and £hunffii/as are allowed to be 
" higher than the Musahars . . . .They all speak a very impure dialect of the 
"Hindi.. The Musahars live chiefly in little round huts, like bee-hives; 
" but the huts of the Bhungiyaa and Rajwars are of the usual form. The 
" Bhungiyaa and Rajwars have chief men called Majhis, like those of the 
"hill tribes in Bbagalpur." (178); vol. II, p. 119. 

About the Musaharread: " The Musheraa of Central and Upper India," 
by John 0. Nesfield, in the Calcutta Eevieio of January 1888, pp. 1-53. 
On p. 2, Mr. Nesfield says: "In Buchanan's Eastern India they are 
" described as a people 'who ha^e derived their name from eating rats.' 
" In an old folk-tale, which has recently come to my knowledge, the name 
" is made to signify flesh-seeker or hunter (being derived fron masu, flesh, 
"andAfr«, seeker)." 

Compare Dalton, Ethnology of Bengal, pp. 81, 82, 92, 130, 148— 

" The Kocchis then gave a line of princes to Kamrup ; at this time a part 
' ' of Upper Asam was under a mysterious dynasty, caUed the Bhara Bhuya, 
" of which no one has ever been able to make anything (81) . .All the works 
"still existing in the deserted forests of the northern bank of the Brahma- 
" putra are attributed to the Bhara Bhungyas or Bhuyas (82). (Buchanan, 
"vol. II, p. 612, mentions already the legend of the 12 persons of Bdrah 
" Bhniyas.). .The Konh appear to me equally out of their element among the 
" Lohitic tribes . . In short I consider thej' belong to the Draridian stock, and 
" are probably a branch of the great Bhuiya family, and we thus obtain a clue 
" to the tradition of the Bhara Bhuiyas, to whose period of rule so many great 
" works in Asam are ascribed(92). 

According to Colonel Dalton, p. 327, the Rajwars in Sirguja " are skilled 
" in a dance called CJiailo, which I believe to be of Draridian origin." See 
the two articles "On the Barah Bhuyas of Eastern Bengal," by Dr. James 
Wise, in the Bengal Asiatic Journal, vol. LXIII, pp. 197-214, and vol. LXIV, 
pp. 181-83. Dr. Wise relates the history of five Bhuyas, i.e., of Fazl Ghazi of 
Bhowal, Chand Rai and Kedar Eoi of Bikrampur, Lakhan Manik of Bhaluah, 
Kandarpa Narayana Rai of Chandradlp, and Isa Khan, Masnad-i-Ali of 

Compare further Xote on Mahastlxnn near Bagurd (Bogra), Eastern Bengal, 
by C. J, O'Donnell, ibidem, LXIV, pp. 183-186. On page 183 we read: 
" With regard to Mahasthan he (the District Deputy Collector) seems more 
"correct. He identifies it with Bdrendra, the capital of the Barendra 
"Hindus. In favour of this view the only arguments are strong, though 


castes and communities, but a sufficient number of them still 

Many Rajputs have Bhar blood in their ~ veins, and 
Dr. Francis Buchanan went so far as to state that the 
Parihdra Rajputs of Shahabad are descended from the 

" simple. The whole country between the Ganges, the Mahananda, Kamiup, 
"and the Karatoya, was undoubtedly the old Barendra Desha. To the 
" present day, much of it is called ' Bariud.' . . All round it, however, there 
' ' are shrines, holy wells and embankments connected with the name of 
' ' Bhlma, one of the Pandava brothers . . Bhima is said to have made a large 
" fortified town south of Mahasthan, which is marked by great earthworks 
' ' altogether about eight miles long, and still in places as much as twenty 
' ' feet high. The whole country between them and Mahasthan is in places 
" covered with bricks.. . . It may be mentioned in connection with Mahasthan 
" that there is a legend that on a certain occasion twelve persons of very 
"high distinction and mostly named Pala came from the west, to perform 
" a religious ceremony on the Karatoya river, but arriving too late, settled 
" down on its banks till the next occurrence of the holy season, the NarayanI, 
" which depends on certain conjunctions of the planets, and was then twelve 
' ' years distant. They are said to have buUt numerous places and temples, 
" dug tanks, and performed other pious acts. They are said to have been 
' ' of the Bhuinhar or Bhamau Zamindar tribe, which is, at the present day, 
" represented by the Rajas of Banaras and Bhettia." See also Archceological 
Survey of India, vol. SV, p. 115. 

"The Census of 1881 counts 382,779 Bhars, of whom 20,870 live in 
Bengal, 1,639 in the Central Provinces, and 360,270 in the North-Western 

« See Dr. Buchanan's report in Montgomery Martin's vol. II, p. 463 : 
" In the account of Shahabad I have mentioned, that those pretending to be 
such {Farihar Rajputs) were in fact Bhars or Bhawars, and the same might be 
supposed to be the case here (in Gorukhpoor) , where the Bhars were once lords 
of the country ; but the Bhars here do not pretend to have any kindred with 
the Parihars, and the latter are not only allowed to be a pure but a high 
tribe ;" and vol. I, 493 : " The tribe of palanquin-bearers, including Farihar 
Rajputs, Majbangsi Bhars, and Sajbars amounts to about 500 families." 

Compare P. Carnegy in the Bengal Asiatic Journal, vol. XLV, p. 300-2. 
" Many years of the official life of the writer have been devoted to duties 
'■ which involved the examination of the genealogies of some of our oldest 
" and best native families, and the results of his inquiries have led him to 
"the following conclusions: (1) that not a single member of the landed 
" gentry or local priesthood can trace back to an ancestor who held an acre 
" of land, or who administered a spiritual function within the area under 
" inquiry during the Bhar supremacy ; (2) that scarcely any of them can 
" trace back to an ancestor who came into Audh at the Muhammadan advent, 


The Bhars like other tribes have embraced the diiferent 
creeds, which from time immemorial prevailed in India ; 

' ' when the Bhars, who were then in universal possession of the land, were 
" overthrown ; and (3) that the great mass of the landowners of to-day can 
*' trace no fuiiher back than to an ancestor whose origin is easily discovered 
" to be both indigenous and spurious. . . I have found the opinion so gener- 
" ally entertained that there was a Rajput conquest and colonization of 
" Audh, that it requires a distinct answer. . .1 have not discovered the exist - 
' ' ence of any such central tradition of conquest by Rajputs from without , . 
' ' I can refer to the histories of many Rajput clans, . . but none of them declare 
*' . .the arrival of an army of clansmen, and colonization by the victors with 
" their families and kin. The very fact of the singular connections to which 
' ' so many of the clans trace their descent is opposed to the idea of a con- 
" quest by arms. An orthodox Hindu, the conqueror of a low-born race, 
' ' would not have founded a family by an alliance which his religion sternly 
" rebuked. . .It is finally noticeable that the Audh clans who claim an extra- 
' ' provincial origin, trace their descent to single Chatris, and not to troops 
" of Rajput invaders. Such are the Bais of Baiswara, . .and the Rajkumars. 
" . ."With these two exceptions none of the clansmen of eastern Audh claim a 
"western origin. In regard to the third class, it is always invidious to 
*' enter into details of pediprers, but a few amongst very many available 
' ' instances may be given. The Kanpnria is one of oni most important 
" clans ; so is the Bandelgot. In twenty generations according to the 
" members, both these pedigrees are lost in obscurity ; but what the world 
" says is this, that they are the offspring of mal-alliances between two 
" Brahman brothers, and women of the Ahir and Dharkar tribe. The 
" Amethia is not an unimportant clan. They call themselves Chamar-gor 
"Rajputs, and their generations are not longer than the other named. 
" What the world says of this, is that a Chamar-gor is the offspring of a 
" Chamar father and a Gor-Brahman woman. Moreover within the memory 
' ' of man, an Amethia Chief has, according to Sleeman, taken to wife the 
" grand-daughter of an ex-PasI Chowkildar and raised up orthodox seed 
" unto himself. The Elaotars are another numerous clan with but half the 
' ' number of generations, and with precisely a similar parentage as the Kan- 
" purias (Brahman- Ahir). Their name is taken from Rawat, an Ahir chief. 
' ' The Pulwars are influential and numerous, and of these it is said that they 
"are descended from a common ancestor, who had four wives, of whom 
" one only was of his own status, the others being a Bharin, an Ahirin, and 
"another low caste woman. Here we have a Hindu-Bhar origin freely 
"admitted. The Bhalesaltan clan, also, is comparatively modern, and of 
" equivocal Ahir origin. There are numerous families of Bais, too, who are 
" in no way related to the Tilokchaudl Bais of Baiswarft. The former are 
" modern and equivocal, the term Bais being, it may be mentioned, the most 
" ready gate by which enlistment into the fraternity of Rajputs could for- 
' ' merly be achieved .... Finally, all those landovraing families, who can only 
" urge an indigenous origin, must, whether they admit it or not, recognise 
"the fact that they are descendants of Bhars, for every acre of land was 


but Buddhisin and Jainism were naturally more popular 
than any other foreign religion.** 

A considerable number of Bhars fills the post of village 
policemen, while others are ploughmen, but the vast majority 
of this race are now in a miserable condition. 

In spite of the abilities they exhibit when suitably 
employed, and in spite of the reputation of their ancestors 
which has survived to this day, the descendants of the ancient 
rulers of the land have now lost nearly everything and are 
reduced to the most abject condition. 

The Mars, Mhars, Mahdrs, Mhairs or Mers. 

While speaking about the Mallas I availed myself, on pp. 
21 and 22, of the opportunity of introducing the Mahars or 
Mhars, whom I recognised as the people who had given their 
name to MaMrdsfra. But it was not to that country alone 
that the Mahars were confined, for they have always been 
occupants of Rajputana. The provinces which now go by the 
name of (Ajmere) Mhairwara and ( Jodhpur) Marwar are their 
ancient home. " The Mair or Mera is," according to Colonel 
Tod, " the mountaineer of Rajpootana, and the country he 
" inhabits is styled Mairtcarra or the region of hills." These 
hillmen by and bye populated the plain and are also foimd 
there.*^ They remained masters of the soil until they were 
ousted later on by victorious invaders. As chiefs and 
warriors, Hke other aboriginal tribes, they have a claim to be 

' ' owned, and the country was throughout peopled by these alone and by 
" no others." — Compare also the article "On the Bhar Kings of Eastern 
Oudh," by W. 0. Benett, in the Indian Antiquary, vol. I, 1872, pp. 265 
and 266. 

** Compare Bengal Asiatic Journal, vol. XLV, p. 303. 

** See Annals and Antiquities of Majasthan by Lieutenant-Colonel James 
Tod, vol. I, 680. — The name of Marwdr is generally connected with Sanskrit 
maru, desert, mountain, rock. I believe this derivation to be wrong, 
though it gives a pretty good explanation of the diversified nature of the 
country, which ia hilly in one part and arid in the other. 


called Rajputs, for the name of Rajput or Rajaputra confers 
only a social, and not an ethnological distinction. The 
term Rajput is generally applied to an Aryan Ksatriya, 
though everybody knows that the victors intermarried freely 
with the vanijuished non-Aryans, who were nerer totally 
annihilated, and that the Mars and other non -Aryan tribes 
claim relationship with the Rajputs. 

No real ethnological difference between a Mar (Mhar, 
Mahar) and a Mhair (Mer) has been found to exist. It 
has been previously mentioned that, according to Colonel 
Dalton, " Mar or Mala is a very uncertain name applied 
" to or assumed by different people in different parts of India, 
" but it may be that there is some affinity between all the 
" tribes who bear it."*' 

Many Mara (Mhars) have clung to their hills as strong- 
holds ; some have comfortably settled down as cultivators, 
while by far the greater part are exposed in consequence of 
their indigence to severe oppression, and are treated like 
Pariahs, In fact, the history of the Mar (Mhar) resembles 
that of the Bhar and the Pariah, and, like the latter, he 
has also retained in the Dekhan a small amount of influ- 
ence. For, according to Mr. R. N. Gooddine, " he is the 
" watchman and guardian of the village and the living chro- 
"nicle of its concerns. His situation or his curiosity makes 
" him acquainted with everybody's affairs, and his evidence 
" is required in every dispute. Should two cultivators quarrel 
" respecting the boundaries of their fields, the Mhar's evidence 
" ought to decide it, and should a similar quarrel happen 
" between two villages, the Mhars are always the chief actors 

*' See Tod's Rajasthan, vol. I, 681 ; Hunter's Imperial Gazetteer of 
India, vol. T, 97: "All the inhabitants of Mhairwara bear the common 
title of Mairs or hillmen, which, however, must be regarded rather as a 
geographical than as a social or religious distinction ;" and VII, 514, " Most 
of these (the Mmas and Mhairs) claim irregular descent by half-blood from 
Rajputs, while some of them are closely connected with the Bhlls." 


" in it, and to their decision alone it is sometimes referred. 
" Tlie Mhar is emphatically called the village-eije"^^ 

The Maravar. 
The Maravar in Madura and Tinnevelly likewise claim 
the position of Eajputs, and if we regard them as a warrior 
tribe, they are entitled to this distinction. They are also 
most probably in some way connected with the Mars of the 
north. The Maravar have to a great extent preserved 
their freedom and independence. They are brave, warlike, 
and self-willed like most semi -barbarous races, but they 
have latterly taken to more peaceful pursuits than they used 
to follow formerly. They were once very numerous, but 
are now greatly reduced in numbers. Their chief is the 
Setupati of Ramnad, one of the oldest and most respected 
princes in Southern India, and who is still highly honored by, 

'" See this extract from Mr. R. N. Gooddine's Report on the " Village 
Communities of the Dekhan," in vol. II, pp. 207-208 of Rev. M. A. Sher- 
ring's Hindu Tribes and Castes, as well as Sherring's further remarks. 

Mr. W. F. Sinclair says (see Indian Aiitiquaty, vol. Ill, 1874, pp. 130, 
131): "The ilahdrs or Ithtds are the most important caste of Parwaria. 
Whether they are the aborigines of the country or not, there does not seera 
to he any way of deciding ; but it seems to me that the term Mabftrashtj-a, 
generally translated ' country of the Marathas,' is at least as likely to 
mean 'country of the Mahara;' and I tHrow this out for more learned 
Sanskritists to decide upon. However, they are a very important people in 
it now, nor must it be supposed that their position, though socially low, 
is without its rights and dignities . . . The Mahar, a>s I have mentioned, 
is not only the guardian of boundaries, but also of the public peace and 
health, as watchman and scavenger ; of communications, for he should g-uide 
travellers and make petty road repairs ; and of the public treasure and 
correspondence, for it is his duty to carry the revenue to the treasury, and 
convey all messages on account of Government. It will be seen that he 
has no sinecure (and) . it is obvious that he is not one ' of the Queen's 

bad bargains.' These duties belong to the Mahar as yeslar, or village 
watchman . . . But the Tara.1 or gate- ward, an officer found in a good 
many villages, is generally also a Mahar by caste. The term Bhed is simply 
Hindustani for a Mahar and is found as we go northward." Compare " Two 
I^ectures on the Aboriginal Race of India," by Lieut.. General Briggs, Royal 
AHiahf S'tc. Jo'fjiinl, XIII, pp. 275-309, specially p. 281. See my remarks 
about the origin of the term Mahdrditra on pp. 22 and 23. 



and exacts honors from, the surrounding chiefs and princes. 
The active life which the Maravan leads in the open air has 
imparted to him great bodUy strength. He can be easily 
distinguished from other natives by his good figure and 
generally erect and proud bearing. ^^ 

The Pariah, Paharia, Parheya, the Brahui, Bar or Bhar 
and the Mar, Mhar or Mahar of our day should, as I hope to 
have proved, be regarded as the descendants of the original 
Dravidian population. I am of opinion that all these tribes, 
whose names contain the letter r, are the representatives 
of the first and oldest stratum of the Dravidian race, and that 
the descendants of the Mul/a or Pal/a are those of the second 
stage, from which the other part of the present Dravidian 
population has been gradually evolved. 

Religious and Social Privileges enjoyed by 


In Mysore the Holii/a or Holej/a (joj®Sai:, ^jsSodo 
takes the place of the Pariah. The word Holiya may be 
another form for Palaiya, unless we assume that the / in 
Holiya is a change from /• and connect the word Holiya with 

However despised a position the Pariah and the Holij-a 
occupy in the places where they Hve, they have preserved 
and still cherish, as the Mhar and Bhar do, the memory 
of former greatness and regard themselves as the original 
owners of the soil. Political revolutions, about which we 
now know nothing, have most probably been the cause of 

*9 Maravan also means originally monntnineer, but Mr. Nelson in his 
Miinnal of Madura, has quotoil (II, p. 39) a legend, according to which the 
Maravar aided with Eama against Ravana, and' Kama thanked them and 
" exclaimed in good Tamil, Momven or ' I will never forget ' ; and that they 
" have ever since been called Maravans. With more probability the name 
" may be comicctod with the word marain, Ld/D'}), which means killing, 
" foi'ocity, bravery and the like." See Nelson's Mmmal, II, p. 3S-42, on 
the Muravar. 


tlieii- subversion by other kindred Dravidian tribes. Yet, 
considering the unstable nature of the Indian states, the 
continual disturbances and fighting which give to Indian 
history such an unpleasant and unsatisfactory appearance, 
there seems nothing peculiar in the claims advanced by those 
Pariahs, who are in reality the descendants of the original 
inhabitants. The Pariah calls himself to this day the elder 
brother of the Brahman, claiming in this manner precedence 
of the Brahman. The Brahmans on the other hand ascribe 
the origin of the Pariahs, Candalas, and other low castes to 
the connection of Brahman women with low caste men, or to 
the curse which sages, like Visvamitra, were so fond of utter- 
ing against their own flesh and blood, or against any one 
who was unfortunate enough to come across them at an 
inauspicious moment. The legend of the curse of Visva- 
mitra's sons is interesting, as it ascribes to them the origin 
of some wild tribes like the Andhras, Pundras, Sabaras, 
and Pulindas.^" 

The Pariahs have according to the Ndnaretti eighteen 
titles like the Yellalar and possess also the same insignia.*' 

The chief goddess of the Pariahs is called Attal or Animal, 
mother, and represents Parvati as mother of the earth, while 

™ The elder filt.y of the hundred sons of Visrdmitra offended their father, 
and being cursed by him, became outcastes and the forefathers of all the 
wild tribes. 

According to an old tradition, found in the Piiranas and retold in the 
Kulasankarami'la of Veiikatacalacaryar of Eayapuram and in the Kanarese 
Somtsvaras<>taka^ Vasistha was the son of Urvasi, the famous divine prosti- 
tute, and the husband of a Candala woman of the Cakkili caste, who was in 
reality Arimdhati, reborn as a Candall. As such she bore him one hundred 
sons, ninety-six of whom disobeyed their father and reverted to the Pancama 
(fifth; or Pariah caste, while the four others remained Brahmans. — Agastya 
was, as already intimated on p. 24, n. 25, in this birth the brother of Vasistha. 

^' Among these insignia are mentioned the following : white, earth-circle 
umbrellas ; lion, swan, green and white, monkey {Hmwinan), cuckoo, plough- 
handle, wheel and lion faced flags ; a trumpet ; closely carried torches {arulcu) 
and day torches ; victorious bells, two white chowries, white elephant ; 
white horse ; ivory palanquins ; cuscus fan, flute ; white petticoat, two poles 
with cloth across the street {makaratoruna), golden pot, &c. 


as Pidari she ressmbles through her evil inclinations Kali. 
Different personifications of Parvati and Kali are variously 
named, as Velattal (Elattal), Nagattal, Egattal, Cemattal, 
Mariyattal or Mariyamman, Angalamman, Ellamman, Pun- 
ganamman (Pungattal), &c. Temples are found everywhere 
in South India, and she is generally the village goddess. 
Mar ill am man, the goddess who inflicts and removes small-pox 
and other diseases, is found among the Gauda-Dravidians 
of the whole of India. 

The feasts of these goddesses extend over a week and last 
occasionally sixteen days. During the whole of this time a 
Pariah is kept clothed and fed in the temple as the accepted 
bridegroom of the goddess. High across the streets festoons 
of margosa leaves are hung, and on the last day, while pots 
filled with water are carried by the people and the idol is 
taken in procession round the streets of the village, tom- 
toms are beaten in honor of the Pariah bridegroom, and after 
he has fasted and bathed, he gets a new cloth dyed with 
saffron, and the priest fastens a quarter anna piece to the 
right hand of the goddess and another to that of the Pariah. 
This ceremony is called kdppu, s/tljl/. 

The name Velattal is commonly explained as mother of 
Subrahmanya, from Vel and Attal. Nagattal is regarded 
to signify the same from Nagan (Subrahmanya) and Attal. 
Some Tamil scholars however do not favor this explanation. 
When revered in these forms Parvati or Kanj^akumari is 
regarded as a Pariah woman or Matangi. 

Tlie Pariahs enjoy even now, in many places, privileges, 
the origin of which cannot be explained except by admitting 
the existence of substantial reasons, which have long been for- 
gotten. A Pariah ties to this day the tali round the neck of 
Egattal, the tutelary goddess of Black Town in Madras. The 
Pariah, who acts as the bridegroom, arrives at the temple 
about ten days before the feast commences and is treated as 
described above. At Pemmbui; near Madras, the same deity 


is called Ceimtlal, mother of safety. In Mysore a Holiya 
is generally the priest of the village goddess, and the Kulvadi 
or Pariah headman of the village community is regarded 
as the real proprietor of the village. At Melkota a Holiya 
presents to Celvapillai, or utsava-idol, which is thus called as 
it is carried in procession at the festival, a hranch of the 
Cami or Vahni tree to be used as an arrow for his bow at 
the hunting festival {paricettai), and while the idol is moving 
in procession, a Pai'iah huntsman lets a hare run across 
the road in front of the car that the god may shoot at it ; 
this done, the idol returns in grand procession to the temple. 
The Pariah receives as a reward {pdritosihvm) a garland, the 
flowers of which are distributed among the heads of the 
large conflux of Pariahs. This hunting festival is in Mala- 
yalam called paUiretta, or royal hunt. It is just possible that 
pari and palli are identical words. The Holiyas pull the car 
at Melkota and are not ilebarred from approaching it. They 
pull also the ropes of the cars at Kancipuram, Kumbha- 
konam, Srivalliputtur, and other places. In fact they do so 
wherever there are big temples. To obviate any unpleasant- 
ness arising on such occasions, it is laid down, as a rule, that 
the touch of Pariahs and outcastes who come to revere the 
deity does not pollute. 

Devalayasamipasthan devasevartham agatan 
Oandalan patitan vapi sprstva na snanam acaret.^^ 
The Holiyas are permitted in Melkota to enter the Tiru- 
narayana temple on three days of the year. The Brahmans 
ascribe this privilege to the circumstance that a poor but pious 
Pariah had observed that a cow approached every day a 
white ant's hole and let her milk drop into it. He searched 
and discovered that the image of Celvapillai was concealed in 
it. In consequence, the Pariah took compassion on the cow 

62 One need not bathe if one touches Candalas or outcastes, who stand 
near the teu:ple and have come to worship God. 


an<l supplied her daily with folder. The great VaiMiava 
reformer, Bhagavat Ramauujacarya, had at the same time 
been dreaming of this Celvapillai image, and the Pariah 
showed it to him. As a reward for this act of piety, Rama- 
nujacarya allowed the Pariahs to enter the temple in future 
for three days of the year. Others say that this favor was 
granted because the Pariahs had protected him in their 
paraiceri, when he was pursued. Very likely, the privilege 
is of older origin. A similar custom prevails in Kadiri.^^ 

It is most peculiar that the origin of the famous Jagan- 
natha temple is also closely connected with the low-caste 
Pariahs. A Sacnra mountaineer, called Bdsu, worshipped in 
secret the blue stone image of Jagannatha, to obtain which 
the powerful king of Malva, Indradyumua, had despatched 
Brahmans to all quarters of the w(jrld. One of them pene- 
trated at last into the wilderness where Basu lived. Basu 
detained the Brahman, made him marry his daughter, and 
led him after some time blindfolded to the place where the 
image of Jagannatha was lying concealed. The Brahman 


"■ Compare "Archseological Notes," liy JI. J. Walhouse in the Iiidir 
Aiitiqunnj, vol. TIT, 1874, p. 191 : " It is well known that the servile castes 
in Southern India once held far higher positions, and were indeed masters of 
the land on the arrival of the Brahmanical caste. Many curious vestiges of 
their ancient power still survive in the shape of certain privileges, which 
are jealously cherished, and, their origin being forgotten, are much mis- 
understood. These pii\'ilegee are remarkalde instances of survivals from an 
extinct order of society — shadows of hmg-departed supremacy, hearing wit- 
ness to a period when the present haughty high-e;iste ruees were suppliants 
before the ancestors of degraded classes whose touch is now regarded as pollu- 
tion. At Melkotta, the chief seat of the followers of Eftmanuja Acharya, 
and at the BrAhraan temple at Bailur, the Holeyars or Pareyars have the 
right of entering the temple on three days in the year, specially set apart for 
them. At the ' bull-games ' at Dindigal, in the Madura district, which have 
some resemblance to S|ianish bull-fights, and are very solemn celebrations, 
the Kallar, or robber caste, can alone officiate as priests and consult the pre- 
siding deity On this occasion they hold quite a Saturnalia of lordship and 
arrogance over the Brahmans. In the great festival of Siva at Trivalm-, in 
Tanjore the head-man of the Pareyars is mounted on the elephant with the 
god, and carries his chiiiiri. In MaiJi-as, at the rmnual festival of the god. 
dess of the Black T^jwn, when a tail is tied round the neck of the idol iii the 


worshipped the god, and, after the lapse of some time, was 
able to commuuioate his discovery to the king. As the king 
was very proud of his power, the god Jagannatha, in order 
to punish his pride, did allow him to build the temple, but 
did not manifest himself personally to Indradyumna. This 
favor was granted him after prolonged delay, and it was 
only with the help of the Savara Basu that the image could 
finally be obtained and removed. Until very recently, 
pilgrims of all castes and outcastes frequented Puri and par- 
took together of their meals, as the presence of Jagannatha 
is said to destroy all distinctions of caste, race, and faith ; 
but now out-castes are no longer allowed to enter the 
sanctuary and to join in the eating of holy food, though 
the food prepared and sanctified at Puri can be eaten by 
Brahmans anywhere, even in the presence of the ■ lowest 
people. The descendants of Basu are thus debarred from 
worshipping personally their own divinity. 

Many Pariahs have attained high renown as poets and 
saints. Take for example, TinivaUiwa Nayanar, the author 

flame of the entire community, a, Pareyar is chosen to represent the hride- 
groom. In Madras, too, the mercantile caste, and in Vizagapatam the 
Brahmans, had to go through the form of asking the consent of the lowest 
castes to their marriages, though the custom has not died out." See 
Sir. J. D. B. Gribhle's Manual of Cuddapalt, p. 241. 

See Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Laiiffiiar/eshy Bishop Caldwell, 
second edition, p. 548 : " Thus, at the annual festival of Egattal, the only- 
mother — a form of Kali, and the tutelary goddess of the ' Black Town ' of 
Madras— when a tali, or bridal necklace (answering to our wedding ring), 
was tied round the neck of the idol in the name of the entire community, a 
Pareiya used to be chosen to represent the people as the goddess' bridegroon: ." 

I am indebted to the Rev. H. Jensen of the Danish Lutheran Mission 
for my statement concerning the continuation of the service of a Pariah at 
the Egattal temple in Black Town. 

Major J S. F. Mackenzie has contributed on p. 36 of volume VIII of 
the Indian Antiquary an article on the " Customs of the Comti Caste." Most 
of the statements that note contains I have repeatedly heard in Madras, and 
I myself possess some documents confirming them. I quote this subject here 
merely as it ought not to be entirely omitted, and as it affords strong evidence 
of the great influence and authority once enjoyed by the now-despised 
Pariahs— an influence which apparently is exercised even at the present 

56 ON thp: original inhabitants 

of the Kural and his so-called sister, the famous poetess, 
Acvai, the Vaisnava Alvar Tinqjan, the author of the work 
beginning with Ainalmi Adipirdn, who was brought up by 
Pariahs, and the Saiva saint Naiulan, who was a Pariah. A 
Ivuruniba robber, Ti rumn hfi<iiiiiaiinan, became afterwards a 
celebrated Vaisnava Alvar. 

These and many other instances can be adduced to prove 
the once flourishing condition of the now despised lowest 

Wrong Derivation of the term Holeya and Pui.aya. 

The Telugu Pariahs are called Malavandlu, its corre- 
sponding term in Tamil Malar is often used in the sense of 
Pulaiyar and equivalent to Paraiyar. The word Mala, in 
the sense of mountaineer or barbarian, occurs in Sanskrit. 
As the word holcija is derived from hole, ^j®iS, pollution, and 
the South-Indian Vulayan horn jjii/a, ojaj, pollution, so also is 
Malaj'a occasionally derived from the Sanskrit ina/a, taint. 
All these derivations rest ou no substantial philological 
grounds. They have been suggested by the accidental resem- 
blance existing between the Sanskrit words mala, taint, and 
jKila, flesh, and the Dravidian puta {hole) , pollution, and their 
derivatives on the one side and the names of the Malhts 
or Pallas on the other side, and are used to revile and as 
an excuse for despising the low defenceless and ill-treated 

This tendency to revile strangers, enemies or slaves 
is, however, not confined to any particular country. The 
Tatars, when thej' first invaded Europe, were called Tartars, 
because they were supposed to have come from Tartarus or 

I further believe that all such Sanskrit words as malla, 
vi'lla, iiialayit, iialli, Sfc, which are connected with the name 

5' Mr. Lewis Rice in his Myxore and Coorg, vol. I, p. 312, ventures anothpr 
deiivation ; " the Holayar, whose name may be derived from hola, a field." 


of the Mallas and Pallas, to ha\'e been introduced into that 
language from Dravidian. 

Caste distinctions among Paeiahs ; Bight 
AND Left Hand Castes. 

The Pariah caste is divided into 18 classes ^* like the 
Vellalar, as has been already intimated. The first class of 
the Pariahs is called the Valluvapparai. The highest caste 
of the Pulayar in Cochin also bears the name of Valluva. 
One great cause that keeps the Pariahs and the Pallar apart, 
or that prevents them from being on friendly terms with 
each other, is the fact that they take different sides in the 
great question of right-hand and left-hand castes. 

The reference to this distinction necessitates some re- 
marks. The cause of the division into right-hand and left- 
hand castes, and the time when this difference arose, are both 
unknown, though weighty reasons can be adduced against 
assigning to it a very early period. The legendary reports 
abound with suspicious details which militate against their 
trustworthiness. The contest seems to have been both 
national and religious.^^ 

^ Dr. Winslow enumerates in his Tamil-English Dictionary the following 
classes among tlie Pariahs : The Valluvapparai, Tatapparai, Tankalanparai, 
Turcalipparai, Kulipparai, Tipparai, Muracapparai, Mottapparai, Ampup- 
parai, Vatukapparai, Aliyapparai, KOliyapparai, TaUpparai, Vettiyarp- 
parai, Cankupparai. Compare Mr. J. H. Nelson's Manual of Madura, III, 
pp. 75-79. Mr. W. F. Sinclair says in the Indian Antiquary, vol. Ill, p. 
130 : "The Parwaris should not hy rights be called outcastes, seeing that 
they have caste of their own, ohey its rules, and squabhle among themselves 
for precedence with a pertinacity worthy of ambassadors." 

5« In the edition of a portion of the Kural which was published together 
■with an English translation and valuable notes by one of the earliest and 
best European Tamil Scholars, the late Mr. T. W. Ellis, of the Madras Civil 
Service, is found on page 44 the following passage: "Intercourse with 
foreign nations, the extension of commerce, and other circumstances have in 
latter times materially altered the manners of the olden time and infringed 
the privileges of the landed proprietors, but they have not been able to 
prevent a lively tradition of them remaining, and this has given origin to the 
dissensions between the factious denominated Valang-caiyar and Idimg-caiyar , 


The five classes of artisans^the cai-penters, goldsmiths, 
blacksmitlis, braziers, and masons, well known in Southeni 
India as Pahcdlar or Kammular — regard themselves as the 
real Brahmans and, as the descendants of the divine artificer 
Viirakanna, call themselves Visva Brahmans. They assume 
the title of Acarya, wear the holy thread, and claim the right 
to perform religious ceremonies among themselves, especially 
at marriages. They farther declare that there were origi- 
nally five Vedas, but that Veda Vijasa, in order to curtail 
their privileges, suppressed the fifth and arranged the other 
four in such a manner as suited Vyasa and the false 
Brahmans whom he headed ; that he tried to win the reigning 
king over to his side, and, when he did not succeed, that he 
instigated the king's murder and placed an illegitimate son 
on the throne, who conferred on Vyasa the dignity of priest 
of the royal family. According to one versioQ Vyasa induced 
the king to issue a proclamation, enacting that all those 
who sided with the king should be styled right-hand caste 
men, and all those who opposed him left-hand caste men. 
Anotlier tradition asserts that Vyasa's right hand was cut off 
by a bigoted Saiva, who heard Vyasa swear with his uplifted 
right hand that Visnu was superior to Siva and that he had 
never in his Puranas opposed Visnu.*' Others transfer these 

or, as commonly though improperly called, the right and left /land castes ; the 
former including the whole of the agricultural tribes, who endeavour, under 
a different order of things, to maintain their ancient pre-eminence ; the latter, 
including chiefly the trading and manufactui'ing tribes, who endeavour, and 
in modern days generally with success, to evade it." — According to the late 
Dr. Burnell (see Indian Antiquary, vol. II, (1873), p. 274): "The distinc- 
tion arises primarilj- from the landowners and their serfs being the heads 
of one class, and the Brahmans, artizans, and other interlopers forming the 
other. But the constituent castes of either party vary.'' The Pancalas or 
Kammalar are known in Tamil by the title of Aedri ^mi-^irS. 

So far as I am informed, and as I have stated above, the Brahmans are 
not included in either faction, though some lists mention them as partisans. 

" Compare the Decision of the Vittilr JiUii Court (-Qiij^iS:) Ser° W5r°p) 
«Sor*tWF- ^eo^) printeJ at Cittur, 1881, on these dissensions. An account 


events to Kanoipurani, and declare tliat, when ■ the two 
opposed parties brought their complaints before the Pallava 
king reiguiug over the Cola country, tlie Kammalir, Beri 
Cetties and their friends were sitting on the left hand of the 
king and the Vellalar and their adherents on the right hand. 
The left-hand side is regarded by the Kanimalar as the place 
of honor. 

is given on page 29 of the circumstances in which Vyasa lost his hand. His 
opponent is in this Cittur Decision descrihed as t!SAMH.\^i'^ tsi^tfc. 

Tlramtisti means a Vira Saiva or Jangama, who precedes a procession, holding 
a shield and brandishing a sword. He is also called VrsabheSvara. The 
Skandapurana contains also the story about the cutting off of Vyastt's arm. 
Captain J. S. T. Mackenzie connects the V yasanu-tolu Kallu (Vyasana's 
armstone) found in Mysore with this event. Compare Indian Antiquary, 
vol. ir, (1873), p. 49. 

As the Pancalar claim the privilege of being their own priests and the 
Brahmans oppose this claim, many disputes and even serious disturbances 
of the public peace have ensued. Such was the case, e.g., at Cittur in 1817. 
Through the kindness of the present Judge at Cittur, Mr. Crole, I have 
obtained a copy of the judgment from which I give the following extracts : 

After mentioning the names of the plaintiffs and the six defendants it 
begins : " 1 ■ This suit was brought against the defendants by the plaintiffs 
to recover Rs. 530j damages on account of the defendants having prevented 
the plaintiffs from celebrating a marriage in their family. 

"The record consists of the plaint, three answers, one reply and two 
rejoinders ... 2. The plaintiffs in this suit call themselves Kammalars, the 
descendants of five Brahmas. The Kammalars follow five crafts, namely, 
that of carpenter, blacksmith, goldsmith, mason and brass-smith. 3. The 
plaintiffs state that they and their tribe have been accustomed, and that they 
consider themselves entitled, and have resolved, to conduct their own mir- 
riages, and other domestic and religious ceremonies without the interference 
of the Brahmins, to which tribe the defendants belong. The plaintiffs 
maintain that one of their own tribe is their Guru, and performs their reli- 
gious rites, and that they will not attend to, nor employ a Brahmin therein, 
and they state their confidence that no Court of Justice can give the defend- 
ants or Brahmins liberty to enter their houses by force to officiate at their 
ceremonies, moreover, they state that they are neither of theVaisya nor Sudra 
tribes, but are descendants of Brahma and that therefore they do not require 
Brahmins to officiate for them. That moreover they, the plaintiffs are 
Deva or divine Brahmins, and that the defendants are Go or cow Brahmins 
who were originally Sudras, and by certain penance and ceremonies obtained 
Brahminism, and that they, the plaintiffs, can prove their right from the 
Veda, Smriti and Vasishthapuranum and the Silpa Sastram. 4. The principal 
defendants, namely, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th maintain that they are 
Brahmins of the Siva Bhakti and have a right to perform the ceremonies 


The charge of having suppressed the fifth Veda is very- 
extraordinary indeed, especially if one considers that the 
original number of the Vedas is indicated by the name Trmfi, 
or Trinity, representing the Rg, Yajur and Sama Vedas, 
and that the fourth or Atharvaveda is generally ascribed 
to a later period. The existence and destruction of a fifth 
Veda, assuming such a work to have ever existed, must 
therefore be assigned to a comparatively late or modern 

and religious ritea of the plaintiffs who they state to be Sankaras, or out- 
castes of the Sudra trihe. The defendants in consequence deny that the 
plaintiffs could ever become Brahmins, thoug-h they were bom again ever so 
many times. Moreover that if the plaintiffs think proper to perform the 
marriage and other ceremonies using forms of prayers taken from the Veda 
they will not only be liable to suffer a great punishment in their next birth, 
but to be punished criminally by the executors of the law appointed by 
trovemment, who they state would never suffer the plaintiffs to perform any 
ceremonies contrary to the law of their sect, to ascertain which the defendants 
request that the opinion of the law officer of the Court may be taken on the 
subject. 5. The above is the sum of the difference between the parties. . . 
9. The evidence in this case is very long and contradictory, but the 
Court has no doubt from a consideration thereof but that the defendants did 
actually, seriously and violently molest the plaintiffs in the celebration of a 
marriage which the plaintiffs were celebrating though they (the defendants) 
did not actually prevent it, as the marriage took place notwithstanding 
their interference, though not without the plaintiffs meeting with much 
obstruction from the defendants. 10. It is a notorious fact which the plain- 
tiff's witnesses have deposed to, that the plaintiffs and persons of the Karama- 
lar caste (like Kannadiyar, Satanis and Jainas) do frequently celebrate their 
religious festivals without calling in the Brahmins of any other sect to aid 
them in the performance of any part thereof. The plaintiffs have declared 
that they admit those marriages only to be perfectly regular, which are 
celebrated by Gurus of their own appointment. They do not admit the 
superiority of any other tribe to themselves. These opinions they state 
to be according to the Hindu Saatra, but it is a point and a right, 
which it is well known the Siva and Vishnu Brahmins do not admit, and 
therefore it has not been considered necessary to consolt on this subject the 
pandits of the Courts, no more than if it were a question of law regarding a 
religious difference between any other sect and the Brahmins, on which they 
never would agree. If the plaintiffs, who deny the superiority of the defend- 
ants as Brahmins do in their tribe choose to follow or relinquish any ancient 
custom or to establish any new ceremony which is not contrary to honesty, 
decorum, and the peace of the country, neither the defendants nor any other 
persons have any right to interfere, nor would the officers of Government 


The division of the population into right-hand and left- 
hand castes occurred most likely simultaneously with the 
religious agitation which introduced into Southern India the 
now prevailing Brahmanical supremacy. The imminent decay 
of the Jaina power opened a fair prospect to the Brahmans 
of which they were not slow to take advantage. They 
gathered round them their followers, while their opponents, 
who represented in certain respects the national party, did 
the same. This movement seems to have been originally 

ever interfere, if it should not appear to be necessary lor the peace of the 
country. It appears that marriages celehrated by Gurus of the plaintiffs 
own sect have been for a long period at least admitted by a very great body 
(if not perhaps by the whole) of them, and at all events are now by them 
acknowledged to be good and proper and valid, and according to their inter- 
pretation of the Sastra perfectly conformable thereto. No other sects there- 
fore have any right to interfere, especially a sect (namely that of the defend- 
ants or Smarta Brahmins) which the plaintiffs do not acknowledge to be 
superior to them ; for the plaintiffs' rejection of them (the defendants, the 
Smarta Brahmins) as their spiritual guides or Gurus is what the defendants 
themselves aokno-wledge that any Hindu is at liberty to do. Thousands 
among themselves (the Smarta Brahmins) have of late years left them and 
from being Siva bhaktars have become Vishnu bhaktars, and have conse- 
quently chosen the Gurus of another sect to be their Gurus. Had the 
plaintiffs introduced ever so many innovations into their ceremonies (which 
they do not appear to have done), as they do not admit that the defendants 
have any more concern with them (the plaintiffs) than they (the plaintiffs) 
have with the defendants (Brahmins), the latter had no business to go near 
them on the occasion of the celebration of their marriage. They (the 
defendants) have no right to force themselves as Purohitas upon any tribe 
who do not acknowledge them, as their superiors, and Purohitas. In the 
opinion of the Courts the plaintiffs were, and are, fully entitled to perform 
(the marriage in question or any other) their religious ceremonies in such 
a manner as the tribe to which they belong may from time to time establish 
to be the rule and form of their caste, and it is so decreed accordingly . . 
Given under my hand and the seal of the Court this twenty-eighth day of 
June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty. 

(Signed) Joseph Dacre, 

In 1843 a similar case was tried in Salem before a Brahman, ^f. Krish- 
namacharyulu ... A Paficalan, EainaliAgachari, for claiming certain rights, 
had been insulted and severely beaten by some persons, and his sacred thread 
had also been torn to pieces. The defendants pleaded that Eamalingaohari, 
as belonging to the Goldsmith caste (or Kamsalajdti in Telagu) had no right to 
study the Veda and to undertake any Praya§citta, or any other religious cere- , 


confined to Southern India, its centre being at Kaficipuram, 
the seat of so many religious and political dissensions, where 
there are to this day special halls for both parties, called 
Valankai-mantapams and Itankai-mantapams.^^ As the 
Pallar and the Pariahs belong to different hands and the 
Yalluvar are the priests of both, the division into right-hand 
and left-hand castes must very probably have taken place 
after the Valluvar had obtained this position. At the time of 
Bhagacat Bdmdnujaxdnja this division into right-hand and 
left-hand castes was already an acknowledged institution, as 
different hours were assigned to right and left hand people 
for entering the Celvapillai temple at Melkota, which place is 
also called Patitafidmnaksetra, i.e., the field where even out- 
eastes can be purified. The influence of the Jainas was 
perhaps strongest in towns where the artisan classes form an 
important and powerful portion of the population, while the 
Brahmans appealed to the land-owning and agricultural 
classes, whom they won over by entreaties or by threats. 
The Brahmans have not joined and strictly speaking do not 
belong to either side, but their interests lie mainly with the 
right side. As in various localities the same castes have 
embraced different sides, it is difficult to assign to all a 
permanent position. Yet, on the whole, the principal parties 
on both sides are always the same.** 

mony, whose performance is a privilege of the Brahmans, and that the Kam- 
ealaj&ti ranked according to the Uharmasastra among the Gramacandalas. 
The Court concurred in this view and the case was dismissed, Ramalingachari 
paying costs. See Sriani JlUd Tit-mdnat'it, Madras, 1886. 

*^ On p. 326 of the Jdtimngrahasdra (in Tamil Sfr^Sl<FiBj8ir<SS=!TJri£>") 
is mentioned a copperplate order or Tdnira^dsanam which confirms the 
position of the Vauniyar, they held at Kinci during the reign of Sukhakal- 
ydpa in the 762nd year of Salivahana Saka ; hut, though it is stated there, 
that this Sasanam is still preserved, no one seems ever to have seen it. 

»■■' The quarrels and actual fights which occurred between these hostile par- 
ties have given rise to much litigation before Magistrates and Judges, espe- 
cially in the Chingleput and North-Arcot districts. The judgment of 
George Coleman, Judge and Magistrate of Chingleput, dated the 25th July 


This dissension must have seriously affected, for some 
time at least, the agricultural, mechanical, and commercial 
interests of the country, for, as both parties were stubborn, 
a great deal of inconvenience must have been felt, till each 
party was able to supply its own wants. The right-hand side 
had in these circumstances to seek a fresh supply of artisans 
until the necessary knowledge was acquired by men in its 
own ranks. Borne who joined it were perhaps deserters from 

1809, specifies the different people of both hands, gives their emblems, flags 
and instruments, and fixes certain privileges. 

I have applied to the Court and gone to Chingleput with the express 
purpose to obtain a copy of this important judgment from the District 
Court, but it could not be found among the records, though many decisions 
of less consequence and of earlier years are still extant. 

However, through the exertions of Mr. A. Krishnasvamy Iyer, B.A., an 
official of the Accountant -Greneral's Office, and a much esteemed former 
pupil of mine, I have been able to secure a Tamil manuscript copy of the 
judgment. On the right hand are enumerated the Velalar and Kavaraikal 
with the following insignia : white umbrella, white flag, curved fan, chowry, 
arukutlvatti, plough, plough-flag, monkey-flag, cuckoo-flag, parrot-flag, 
beU, conch, wheel stick, big-drum, green, blue lotus gailand, Atti flag, 
Tamntai, trumpet ; 2, Vatiiha Velalar (Northern or Telugu VeUaJar) with 
swan flag ; 3, Eediikal with plough flag ; 4, Eammavdrukal (agricultural 
labourers) with bull-flag ; 5, Eontalavarkal with chakora flag ; 6, Nattamon 
with Ali flag ; 7 Malaiyaindn with Aritdla or Srttala flag ; 8 Komattikal 
(merchants) with cotton-flag, Makaratoranam-ivam, Vimumayir, Itimuracu; 
9, 7(a(y«>- (shepherds) with wheel; 10, Vatuka Itaiyar (Telugu shepherds) 
with conch; 11, Eannitaiyar (Kanarese shepherds), with tent, . . . five- 
coloured flag ; 12, Fatmaedliyar (weavers) with tiger vehicle, male tiger flag ; 
13, Pattuedliyar (sUk weavers) with two-headed bird flag ; 14, Vatukaceni- 
yar (northern weavers) with jasmine flag, Nakapacam, five-coloured flag ; 16, 
J(zm<rafa>- (Telugu weavers) with crocodile ; 16, Kannitaiya-Ceniyar (Kajia.- 
rese weavers) with wild jasmine garland, big eagle flag, Vicm-utan^ai ; 17, 
Pattunulkdrar (sUk thread weavers) with silk flag; 18, Cetar (weavers) with 
tortoise flag, and Kolinci&ng; 19, Cekkuvdniyar (oilpress mongers) mth 
cedaiceti (centu-tontu), eUuraci, sesamum-leaf garland, garuda-flag, drum ; 
20, Ilaivdniyar (leaf oil-mongers) with kovai-garland, drum, cuckoo flag ; 21, 
Onti'erutu ■vamdyar (one bullock oil-mongers) with flve-coloured parrot flag ; 
22, Janappar (hemp dressers) with chowry flag ; 23, Muceiyar (painters, &c.,) 
with makara flag ; 24, Kinciyar (braziers) with Poti flag ; 25, Vetakdrar 
(basketmakersVwith Cikkiri flag, wooden-legged horse, sword flag; 26, Nari 
cokiyar (Fox-beggars) with dog flag ; 27, Tamil Kuoamr (potters), Vatuka 
Kmavar (Telugu potters), Kuca Kanakkar ; 28, Melakkdrar (flooters) with 
drum flag; 29, Xattuvar (dancing masters) with cymbal flag ; 30, Ddcikal 


the hostile camp, while others were outsiders, Muhammadan 
artisans, for instance, who were allowed to earn their living 
in the Hindu community by following their profession. 

The fifth caste formed of outoastes is in consequence of 
this dissension divided into two great hostile camps, on the 
right side are ranged the Pariahs, and on the left side the 
Cakkilis or leather-workers. It appears that there prevails 
in some parts of the South the peculiar phrase : " the Pariahs 

(dancing girls) with Manmatha flag; 31, Cdndr and liar (toddy- drawers) 
with kurifioi flag, knife and ladder ; 32, Kuravar (mountaineers, foresters, 
snake-catchers, basketmakers, salt-sellers), with donkey flag ; 33, Cuhhdr cetti 
lampdtikal (salt-sellers) with picturesque flag; 3i, Vettaklcdrar (hunters) with 
sling flag; 35, Pattanarar (?) with tortoise flag ; 36, Karnh/nr (sea-coastmen) 
with fish flag ; 37, Ottar (road-makers and tank-diggers from Orissa) with 
spade flag; 38, Uppararar (common tank-diggers) with pig flag; 39, Poyi 
(hearers) with palanquin flag ; 40, PaniceyvOrkal (?) (menial servants ? ) with 
Tarai (trumpet) flag ; 41, Tamil Vanndr and Vatuka Vannar (Tamil and 
Telugu washermen) with curved knife, lotus garland and white elephant ; 
42, Tamil Ndvitar (Tamil barbers) with tumpai garland, animal with human 
face ; 43, Vatuka Ndvitar (Telugu barbers) with nakasaram (musical instru- 
ment) ; 44, Tompiirarnr (rope-dancers) with Ke^ai flag ; 45, Mdriyamman 
Pucdrikal (Mariyamman priests) with small drum flag; 46, PMcaW/lrf with 
hoUow brass lingflag; 47, /»■!(/«»• (wild foresters) with iron bar flag; 48, 
Arippiikkdr Kavurni (kavarai weavers) with lotus flag ; 49, Vatuka Panda- 
ram (northern mendicants) with battle-axe flag; 50, Vancurdr (?)with 
pearl flag ; 61, Entukutuppaikdral {sooth.s3,ying beggars) with s4kti flag; 
52, Jindti (forestmen) with hare flag ; 53, Kaldcvkdrnr (lascars) with cart 
flag; 54, Velikkarumdr excommunicated blacksmiths) with beUows and 
hammer flag ; 55, Vihkal tar.r.n.r (excommunicated carpenters) with chisel 
flag ; 56, Kappal tatcar (ship carpenters) with adze flag ; 57, Kappal ratnkar 
(Telugu sailors) with ship flag ; 68, Pantar (bards) with sword flag. 

The people and ensigns of the fifth class are - 1, Paeuniyar or Palanikal 
(processionists) with damara (drum) flag ; 2, VaUuuar^ Atdvattiydr and Vettiydr 
(mahaut), Paraiyar and Pantaparniyar with white umbrella, white chowry, 
white flag, conch, vajra stick, trumpet (tamukku), drum (tappattai), paiika 
(trumpet), tuttari (short trumpet), big tuttari, paraiya music, five pots and 
white makara (alligator) festoons. 

The left hand musters 1, Peri Cettikal (Beri merchants) with kite flag ; 
2, Nakara Vdniyar (town oil-mongers) with tontu garland and garland of 
nine gems ; 3, Kaikkolar (weavers) with tiruvaraipattiram, adakkam, lance, 
male vulture, lion flag, bear flag, deer flag, peacock flag, cuckoo flag, drum ; 
4, Kammdiar (artisans). [This class is composed of the TaY/ar (goldsmiths), 
Kmindr (braziers), Cirpar (masons), KnUar (blacksmiths) and Taccar (car- 


are not left-hand people, they belong to the Tamils ; " an 
expression whose exact meaning it is difficult to make out 
especially as a Tamilan or Tamulian denotes, in Madras, a 
Hindu in general, and not a Pariah.'^'' I believe that the 
meaning of this phrase is that, as the Tamilar or Vellalar, the 
masters of the Pariahs and principal Rudras, are right hand 
men, so are their dependents, the Pariahs. The Pariahs enjoy 

penters) ; the word Kammila is most likely the Sanskrit Kammara, which 
occurs already in the Veda '"n the meaning of artificer.] With hammer, chisel, 
adze, compass or ulakani, stick, parrot flag, eagle flag, or white kite flag ; .5, 
PaUikal with hig axe, crane feather, vgnkai garland, red lotus garland, crow 
flag, cloud-coloured flag, fire flag, cock flag, vulture flag, fox flag, date flag, 
stone flag, green flag, hair-queue flag, drum and how, kuntali, hlack flag. 

As helonging to the fifth class of the Ilankai are mentioned — 1 , Taltar 
with nelli garland and crab flag ; 2, Cakkililial (leather-workers) with saffron 
screen, hlack garland, warrior sword, cocoa leaf, drum, curved stick. 

Mr. Coleman's decision refers also to the manner in which temple, 
funeral and other processions should he performed by the different castes, 
but to quote his remark's here would lead us too far away. 

The Government Oriental Manuscripts' Library contains two lists of the 
right and left hand castes. 98 different divisions are ascribed to each sect. 
If the lists had not heen very inaccurate, I should have printed them here, 
but they place inter alias the Kammdlar on the right-hand and the Brahmans 
on the left-hand. 

Dr. Macleane (in the Administration Manual, vol. I, p. 69), though 
without producing confirmatory evidence, makes the important statement 
that the male Fullies belong to the right and the female Ftdlies to the left 
hand. He says : "The following lists show the more important of the i'ast<'8 
"which take part in the disputes of the rival hands. On the left hand, 
" Chetties, artisan3,oilmongers, weavers, Patnavar, male leather- workers, and 
" female Pullies. On the right hand ; Vellaular, Cavarays, Comaties, acoouut- 
" ants silk-weavers, male Pullies, Pariahs and female leather- workers. 
" It is to be observed that the females of two of the inferior castes take differ- 
" ent sides from their husbands in these disputes." I have made inquiries 
among the PaUis on this point and they deny the correctness of the state- 
ment, yet it is very difiicult to decide such a question, unless both sides 
produce their authorities. It must certainly appear peculiar that husband 
and wife should belong to the different rival hands, as if it were desirable 
to specially provide causes for domestic disagreements. Mr. Nelson has, as 
will he seen on the next page, made a similar statement concerning the 
Cakkilis in Madura. 

«" The Eev. E. Lbventhal of Vellore communicated to me the existence 
of the saj-ing; usro/Tii^fr @l-I5ist,s .^siieu ^esjrra'dn ^tSifitT ; "The 
Pariyar are not Irfthand, they are Tamilians." 


also the honorific title of Valahkamattdr or Valanhnhttdr and 
claim in consequence precedence over the left-hand Pallar. 

The Tamil Oakkili, the Telugu and Kanarese Madiga, 
and the Maratha Wang all do belong to the same caste. 
Their occupation is mostly connected with leather and rope 
making. The enmity between the common Pariahs and 
these people is very acrimonious as it concerns precedence ; 
and a Ming, who as ropemaker is generally also the hang- 
man, is said to regard as his proudest and most meritorious 
action the hanging of a Mahar or Maratha Pariah. Never- 
theless, the Pariahs and the Cakkilis, when not actually 
engaged in hostilities, acknowledge each other in a friendly 
manner as brothers-in-law. In his Madura Manual (II, 
p. 7) Mr. Nelson mentions the curious fact that in Madura 
the Cakkili women belong to the right-hand and their hus- 
bands to the left-hand. 

The words Mdng aud Madiga are corruptions of Mdtanga. 

The division of the Snkti worshippers or Sdktas in Dak- 
sinacaris and Vamacaris has nothing in common with the 
right or left hand castes. This difference concerns merely 
the ptija, inasmuch as the daksindcdra, the right observance, 
allows only milk, fruit, cakes made of blackgram, and other 
sweetmeats and sweet drinks, wliile the minnvdra, the left 
or adverse observance, permits, besides the mentioned eatables 
and drinks, meat and liquors also. 

The VALL^^ ar. 

The oppression which the Pariahs and Paljar haA-e suf- 
fered has not drawn them closer together, but yet these 
two classes have their priesthood in common. These priests 
are called Yalluvar, and their name has become renowned 
by Tirn VcMuua Ndj/anni\ the author of the famous Tamil 
work the Kural ((g/psrr). It is evident from this appellation 
itself, that Tiruvailuva Naj^anar is not the real name of this 


celebrated man, but only his title.'"' This poet, who was born 
aud died at Mailapur, a suburb of Madras, showed in his 
writings a knowledge of, and a tendency towards Jainism ; 
and though some deny the fact of his having been a Jain, 
other Valluvar admit it : at all events the title Nayanar 
may be taken in favor of such an assumption, as it is used by 
the Jains as an honorific appellation. The word means /ord 
and devotee, and is probably a contracted form of the Tamil 
honorific term Ndijakanar, from which the syllable ha has been 
dropped. Ndyaka, a leader, especially a leader of troops, 
i.e., a general, is derived from the Sanskrit iii, to lead. This 
word becomes in Tamil Ndyalcan (Naik), in Telugu Ndi/ada 
(Naiduj, and in Malayalam Ndyar (Nair), and is used as a 
title by many Hindus in Southern India ; it is adopted in the 

'■ The accounts given about TinwaUuva Nayanar are very obscure. 
One fact alone is clear that he belonged to one of the lowest classes of the 
population, but that the highest classes could not ignore his talents, and to 
save their superiority connected his birth with the Brahman caste. Another 
important item of information is that other celebrated Tamil poets as Kapilar 
and Amai are also brought into intimate contact with the same lower 
classes. The legend given below mates Kapilar, Avvai and TiruvaUuva 
Nayanar, brothers and sister, though it is manifest that they did not all live 
and compose their works at the same time ; still the connection of all with 
one another and with the Pariahs and Pulayar is very peculiar indeed. 

Brahma performed, according to the legend, a sacrifice for the explana- 
tion of the Sanskrit and Tamil languages and Agastya arose from it out of a 
pot. The sage married the daughter of the Ocean, and had from her a son 
Peruncdrahan. His sou married at Tiruvalur a Pulaiyan woman or Pitlaieei, 
and their offspring was Bhagavan (usisuajr). About this time there lived 
Tavamuni, a scion of the Brahmavarhsa, who had married a Brahman woman 
Arulmahkai. They had a daughter, but left her behind to perform a sacrifice 
at the Virali mountain. A Pariah of Uraiyur found the girl, and brought lier 
up, until there fell a downpour of earth which killed all the inhabitants in the 
neighbourhood except the girl, who took refuge in the house of one Nxhyap- 
pan at Melurakaram. On his way to Benares the young Bhagavan stopped 
at the choultry near Melurakaram, when the girl passed. He asked her 
whether she was a Pulaicci or "Valaicci, and beat her with a wooden ladle 
on her head, so that it bled, and the wound left eventually a scar. On his 
return from Benares the pilgrim stopped at the same inn and again saw the 
young girl, who had since become very beautiful, at the house of Nitiyappan, 
but he did not recognise her and asked her foster-father to give him his 


same meaning by the Bhillalas, Mahars and Gronds. Tte word 
Valluvan euerri^wesr, (PI. Valluvar) I take to mean "the 
honorable Palla;" Vallu or rather Pallu being the collective 
name of the Palla caste and an (ar) the honorific pronominal 
affix. The present position of the Yalluvar is highly inter- 
esting. He is famous for his superior attainments in Astro- 
logy, and is much consulted when horoscopes are to be cast. 
Though socially an outcaste, he is respectfully treated by 
Brahmans and especially by Brahman ladies, who often have 
recourse to his advice. He wears the holy brahmanical 
thread ot paj'mpavHa, in Taiiiil pilnii iiul or punill.^" At the 
weddings of Pariahs and Pallar he utters Sanskrit passages 

daughter in marriage. He consented and the marriage was celebrated when 
Bhagavan returned from Rftmesvaram. On his anointing, according to the 
ceremonial, the head of his bride, he saw the scar on her head and recog- 
nised her as the girl he had hcaten. Ashamed he ran away, but the 
girl — -who was henceforth called A ti (^ffl) — ran behind him. At Pftpaccerj 
she overtook him at last, when Bhagavan exacted from her the promise that 
she would leave behind her all the children which they might have on their 
ioiirneys. She consented and much against her inclination kept her word, 
advised by her babies to do so. Thus were born Aivai (^djsroaj) or 
Auvai (sjsirsrosu) as an incarnation of SarasvatI, TJppai (e.ueau') iu 
Tondaraandalam, ^^iAa;«^rt (^^SLniresr'] inKaruvur, Uruvai (a_mi©o>eu) 
in Kaveripattanam, Eapllar (aLSsvrr) in TiruvSrOr, J'«IH near the Veli 
mountain and Tirnealluvar in an oil nut tree tope at Mailapur. 

All these children play important parts in the legends and poetry of 
Southern India. Aviuii was nursed by hunters. Uppai was brought up by 
washermen and married a Pariah grave-digger. They were very poor, and she 
was attacked by small-pox and went about covered only with margosa-tree 
leaves. Thus she became known and worshipped as Mariyamman. Adjka- 
m'hi was educated by Csraman, Vruvai by brewers, Eapilar by the Brah- 
man Pdpaiya, and VaUt by Kuravar. The names of TiruvaUuvar and of most 
of his so-called brothi rs £.nd sisters are no pro))er names. 

*' See f<anav6tti (gj/rssrOauLli^-) ascribed to Tiruvalluva Nayanftr 
edited by Arunacala Mudaly, p. 9, stanza 40, which begins ( u, ^pi jFir ^ 
^fl^^iQairefrQeuirih Seu ffiau (Panunul tarittukkolvom, Siva, Siva) 
' ' Let us wear the sacred thread, Siva, Siva, let us follow the promptings of the 
five senses ; let us carry all the insignia, especially the white umbrellas and 
white chowries, as well as the golden fans used by the gods and sages, 
beautiful marks and clothes. Let us praise by worshipping the begiiming and 
ending of Om^ in which luistre of wisdom and divine essence are manifest." 


in the marriage ceremonial, the meaning of which he pro- 
bably does not know. Considering how jealous the Brahman 
priests are of keeping secret their sacred verses, it is very 
strange indeed that the ValJLuvar knows and uses some of 
them. This knowledge must have been acquired long ago, 
perhaps at a time when friendly relations still existed 
between the Brahman settlers and the original population. 

He is most probably the representative of the ruling class 
of ancient times, and his name can still be easily discerned, 
as it is preserved in historical records and geographical 
accounts. I need only mention the ValluvaMn, of Valluva- 
nadu, the king of the Valluvar, who presided at the great 
assembly of Keralam, when a new Perumal was chosen every 
twelfth year to rule over the whole of Malayalam. I 
pointed out some years ago the connection which exists 
between the Valluvar and Pallavas and shall recur to this 
question later on. 

All this splendour of the ValJLuvan has departed and he 
is now known only as the priest of the Pariahs and Pallar. 
He occupies the highest position among the Pariahs, while 
his name connects him with the Pallar, and among the 
kindred of the latter, i.e., among the Pulayar of Cochin, the 
Yalluvar still rank highest. We may perhaps be justified 
in regarding him as representing a liuk between the first 
and second Dravidian stage. 

This suggestion will naturally be repudiated by the 
Valluvar, for they regard themselves as much superior to 
the people committed to their spiritual charge. 

To accept the assertions of every individual Hindu would 
be to admit a separate creation for each tribe, sect, trade, 
profession, and calling. The pride of caste, even among 
the lowest in the country, the tendency towards exclusive- 
ness, and the firm belief in individual superiority combined 
with a strong spirit of conservatism, divide the Indian popu- 
lation into innumerable sections. And as if the existing 


distinctions did not suffice, new conditions and new compli- 
cations are continually giving rise to new variations and 
combinations in Hindu society. Thus among the Vellalar, 
such new castes have lately arisen, and, if I am not mistaken, 
some promoters of the widow-remarriage movement advocate 
the establishment of a new caste, composed of those who 
have married widows and of the offspring of such marriages. 


On the Pallae, Pallavas, Pulayar, Ballas (Bhallas), 
Bhils, Polindas, &c. 

What was originally an accidental discrepancy in the 
pronunciation of the name of the Mallas or Pallas, though 
immaterial in itself, has produced occasionally in the course 
of time a real difference. It may perhaps be assumed, 
either that those who had descended from the mountains to 
the plains preferred to be called Pallas, because the Dra- 
vidian word paVbam signifies depth or low country, or that they 
imparted this meaning to the term pallam, unless the vocal 
similarity between Pallan, a Palla, and pallam, low country, 
is regarded as an accidental freak of language. 

In these circumstances one may be justified in distin- 
guishing in certain localities, between the Mallas and Pallas 
as between Highlanders and Lowlanders, while we may find 
elsewhere Mallas living in the plains and Pallas on the 
mountains. After a prolonged residence of the descendants 
of the Highlanders in the plains and of the Lowlanders in 
the mountains, both might re-adjust their names to the actual 
places they are occupying, and call themselves, respectively, 
Mallar and Pallar. 

The Pallas appear in Sanskrit literature as Pallavas, 
Pahlaras, Pahnacas, Palhava and Plaras. 


The formation of the word Pallava "' can be explained in 
different ways. It may have been derived from the word 
Palla which, being combined with the pronominal affix an, 
formed the honorific term PaUaoan, and eventually dropped 
the final n ; or, if of Sanskrit origin, the affix va may either 
have been added to Palla, or the Taddhita affix a to the term 
-Pallu, which denotes the Pallar caste as an aggregate. In 
the latter ease Pallava would have been formed from Pallu 
and ought to have been Pallava, but according to Panini Y 
2, 127 {nrsa adibhyo'c) Vrddhi or long a is not necessary. 

The omission of one / and the insertion in its place of an h 
requires a few remarks in order to connect Palhava, Pah- 
lava and Pahnava with Palla, which was no doubt the 
original Dravidian form with which the Aryans became first 

Before a language reaches the literary stage, dialectical 
differences excepted, only one form of speech does generally 
prevail, which is the language in common use, the popular 
or Prakrit idiom. In course of time, with the growth of 
literature, the language, or rather the literary speech, becomes 
more and more settled and stationary, and certain forma- 
tions, owing to their having been preferred by poets and 
other authors, are widely adopted and supersede those pre- 
viously used. The refined or Sanskrit language must have 
originated in some such manner. Its very existence pre- 
supposes the Prakrit, as the original Prakrit must be older 
than the later Sanskrit. The so-called Prakrit forms, which 
are found, e.g., in the Vedic literature, should not for this 
reason be regarded as belonging to a later period, simply 
because they belong to Prakrit, as they may even represent 

*^ The .Tdtisangrahasara on p. 171 says that Fnllnran is derived from 
Fumvalan, one who has got the strength of body, that purn was dropped in 
course of time, V changed into P, and ran added. 


the older Prakrit phase."* While Prakrit is indefinite, Sans- 
krit is definite and becomes in consequence ossified and 
unchangeable. Eventually it loses its hold on the people, 
bat remiins the linguistic standard of the educated and the 
dialect of the learned. It supplies in its turn the material 
for a modern Prakrit, which may likewise contain some 
relics of the original Prakrit, but from which, as prior to 
Sanskrit, it must be distinguished. 

Applying these remarks to the special subject before us, 
it is not at all impossible that, as the Graudian Kanda has 
been changed in Sanskrit into Khanda, similarly the original 
Dravidian and ancient Prakrit word Palla has been already 
at an early date altered and become Pallia and Pahla, which 
three different terms were then in use at one and the same 
time. Sanskrit prefers on the whole a form whose pronun- 
ciation is more difficult than what satisfies the Dravidian 
languages. Some of these changes may have been made for 
reasons of which we are now ignorant. In support of my 
supposition that Pallia or Pahla is a modification of Palla, 
I contend that a similar connection does apparently exist 
between the names Kalhana or Kahlana and Kalla ; between 
Balhana, Balhi,Balhika, Balluka, Bdlhi, &c., or Bahlana, Bahli, 
Bahlikd, Bahltka, Bahli, &c., and Balla ; between Bilhana 
{yUliana) ox Bililam [Vihlam) and Billa, [Villa); between 
Malhana or Mahlam and Malla ; between Silhana or Sihlana 
and §illa ; and between Siilkana, Suhlana or Sullana and an 
original Sulla. The names ending in n like Balhana, Kal- 
hana, Malhana and Sulhana have some resemblance with 
those Dravidian names ending in anna, as Eaghanna, Nag- 
anna, &c. Of the change of double / into lit, the change of 
31alldri into JIallidri in Marathi affords an example. 

*' For instance compare krihaldsa with krikaddsu, purnddM ■wiila.purdlasa, 
ksuHaka with ksudraka and hhallakfa with bhitdrdksa^ in Professor A. Weber's 
Iiidische S/udien, II, p. 87, note. 


The introduction of an h into words in which it originally 
found no place has already been commented upon when 
discussing on p. 61 the origin of the names MMr and Bhdr 
from Mar and Bar. 

The practical result of this inquiry is the establishment 
of the Indian equivalents Pahlava, Palhava and Plava for 
Pallava and Palla, and the conclusion that the names of 
such peoples, where they occur in the Mahabharata, E.ama- 
yana, and other ancient Sanskrit works, refer, in most cases, 
to Indian tribes and not to nations beyond the frontiers of 
India, e.g., to the Persian PaMavas. This assumption does 
not dispute the fact that relationship existed between Non- 
Aryan races dwelling on both sides of the Indian frontier. 

The Pallar, as well as the Pallis, claim to be connected 
with the Pallavas. The PaUavarajas were in early times 
already rulers in this country. Some rajas, e.g., those of the 
Sambhugotra in the North near Eajamandry still affect the 
title of Pallavaraja and worship at their marriages the fire 
and the vahni-iTee, a twig of which, as we have mentioned 
above, is used as an arrow at the hunting festival {Parivet- 
tai) on the Yijayadasami during the Navaratri or Dasara 

In accordance with the interchange between v and m 
which has been previously pointed out, the word Pallava 
can be easily recognized in the more modem Vellama, 
Vellamba, Bhillama, Yellama and Ellama. The connection 
between YaUuva and Pallava has already been mentioned. 

The majority of the Pallar now-a-days occupy the plains, 
but they have even there retained their innate predilection 
for the woods and mountains. Wherever possible, they erect 
their shrines in forests and on hills, and their marriages 
also take place in such localities. A pandal or wooden shed 
is there constructed to celebrate them. Before the marriage 

** Read Tlu Fallavas \iy the learned Eev. Thomas Foulkes, and see p. 53. 



is actually performed, the bridegroom suddenly leaves his 
house and starts for some distant place, as if he has sud- 
denly abandoned his intention of marrying, in spite of the 
preparations that have been made for the wedding. His 
intended father-in-law intercepts the young man on his 
way and persuades him to return, promising to give him 
his daughter as a wife ; to this the bridegroom consents.*" 
The marriage ceremony is then proceeded with : the Yal- 
luva priest shows the Ti'tli or marriage necklace to the 
assembled guests, pronounces the necessary prayers and 
mantrams, and hands the Tali to the bridegroom, who ties it 
round the neck of his bride. It is highly probable that the 
Pallar adopted a part of their marriage rites, especially 
those resembling the Kasiyatra, from the Brahmans. The 
marriage of the Pallar can be dissolved on either side ; the 
husband divorces his wife by breaking the Tali, and the 
woman can remarry. Should a wife run away from her 
husband, she can onlj remarry with the consent of a pan- 
cayat. A widow can remarry. The dead are either burnt 
or buried : burying is cheaper and, therefore, more common 
among the poorer of the lower classes. 

66 This custom resembles stvangrl}^ the so-called Kdiiiintni among the 
Brahmans and high-caste Hindus, ric.tonding to go on a pilgrimage to Kdn 
(Benares), the bridegToom loaves his house with a wooden stick in his right 
hand, a kadjan (palm-leaf) hook under his left arm, on his left shoulder he 
carries an umbrella, to which is tied a bundle of clothes, containing also some 
doll and other neressaries for tho jourrcy ; his feet are encased in a pair of 
pddiiriikaa or hard leather shoes, and on his head he wears a pugri. "SATiila 
on the riiad, he is overtaken by the father and mother of his bride, who carry 
.respecti\'ely two cocoanuts and two vesacls filled with water. The intended pours the water over tho feet of the youth, while her husband 
washes them and then gives him the two cocoanuts. Both entreat him not 
to proceed to Benares, but to return and marry their daughter, to which 
■proposals he eventually listens, and the wedding is celebrated as pre-arranged. 
The origin of this custom may be that, though e\cvy Brahman should visit 
Benares in order to study there, the young man cannot do so if he hecomcs 
a firha'^ihn or family man. He saves, therefore, his conscience by simulatin,^" 
an immediali' departure to Kasi and manifesting thus his good intentions, 
which, though not carried out, will be credited to him as if ho had actually 
performed the pilgrimage. 


Mallan, Kulantdn, and Murukan are common names 
among Palla men, while Valli, Tevanai (for Devayana cor- 
ruption of Devasena) and Kulantai (Kulumai) are applied to 
their women. ^' 

The Pallar are an industrious, hardworking, and hard- 
worked class of land labourers, found mostly in the Madras 
Presidency, and especially in the southern districts. They 
toil unintermittingly to enrich their masters, the actual 
owners of the soil, and they were, until very lately, not much 
better treated than bondslaves. The time is not remote 
when the owners of the ground even regarded them as 
their property, as Helots belonging to the land. Continual 
bad treatment and exposure to all kinds of hardship have 
been their sad lot, and it is only natural that this condition 
should have eventually told on their mental and physical 
development, but it speaks, on the other hand, much for 
the superiority of their original nature that, in spite of all 
the miseries endured, they have been able to retrieve their 
position under a kinder government and are now starting 
again with fair prospects of improvement. 

The Pulayar of Travancore, Cochin, and Malabar corre- 
spond to the PajULar in the Tamil country, the Pallar set- 
tlers in these countries being often called Pulayar. Their 
fate resembles that of the Pallar. Constant exposure to the 
heat of a scorching sun, to the unceasing downpours of rain 
during the monsoon, and to the violent gales and thunder- 
storms so prevalent on the West Coast of India, combined 
with insufficient and unsubstantial nourishment, has tinder- 
mined and stunted their physique, and their skin has in the 
course of generations assumed a colour approaching black as 
nearly as possible. Unfavorable local circumstances have 
made the position of the Pulayar even worse than that of 

" Murukan and MurukeSan are also names of Subrahmanya. See note 16 
on p. 16. 


the most oppressed races in the Tamil country. The Pariahs 
or Pallar, who despaired of their sad lot, had at least a 
chance of improving it by running away from their oppres- 
sors without being caught again ; but even this prospect 
was denied to the unfortunate Pulayan. Hemmed in on all 
sides by mountains, woods, backwaters, swamps, and the 
sea he could not hope to escape and to better his position ; 
even if he evaded recapture, he had to face death in another 
cruel form in the wilderness in which he found himself 
entangled, and out of which he could not extricate himself. 

Like the Pallan, the Pulayan, when well treated, has 
shown himself to be possessed of creditable mental and 
physical powers. In the census report of Travancore it is 
said of them that " they are an extremely useful and hard- 
working race, and are sometimes distinguished by a rare 
character for truth and honor, which their superiors in the 
caste scale might well emulate." 

The degree of contempt with which the Pulayan is treated 
is evident from the disgraceful etymological derivation of 
his name from Pula, pollution, as has been already men- 
tioned. Like every other Hindu, the Pulayan takes a pride 
in his caste and despises, in his turn, all those whom he 
regards as beneath him. As has also been remarked, the 
highest class among the Pariahs and the Pulayar is that of 
the Valluvar, who are moreover the priests of the Pariahs 
and Pallar. This seems to be another proof of the identical 
origin of the Pallan and Pulayan. 

The chief deities of the Pulayan are Mddan and the Fire 

As a Pariah found at Melkota the image of Celvapillai, 
as a Savara was originally in possession of the sacred stone 
of Jagannatha, so also is the worship of Padmanabha in 
Trivandrum intimately connected with a Pulayan. Once a 
Piilacci or Pulaya woman, who was living with her husband 
in the Anantakadu jungle, suddenly heard the cry of a baby. 


She rushed to the spot and saw, to her surprise, a beautiful 
child lying on the ground, protected by a cobra. She had 
compassion on it, and nursed it Hke her own child. The 
appearance of a cobra intimated to her the divine origin 
of the infant. This beUef proved true, for the child was an 
incarnation of Visnu. As soon as the Eaja of Travancore 
heard of this wonderful event, he built a shrine on the spot 
where the baby had been found, and dedicated it to Padma- 
nabha. This is the origin of the Padmanabha temple at 
Trivandrum. The Pulayar round Trivandrum assert to 
this day that in former times a Pulaya king ruled and had 
his castle not far from the present capital of Travancore.*^ 

This constant connection of individuals belonging to the 
lowest population with the worship of the Hindu gods is 
indeed a very peculiar and significant circumstance. 

While the Pallar on the East Coast and the Pxilayar on 
the Malabar Coast are mostly agricultural labourers, the 
Pukiiyar and the Palliyar {Palliar) in Madura are on the 
other hand mountaineers. The former are regarded as the 
aboriginal inhabitants of the Palani Hills, and have been 
the bondslaves of the Kunnuvar. The Palliyar dwell on 
the hills also in Madura and the adjacent districts, avoiding 
as much as possible any intercourse with strangers. 

Related to the Pallas by kinship, and bearing also a 
similar name, are the Balla (Bala, Valla, Vella) and Bhalla 
(Bhilla or Bhll). 

It is now impossible to decide or explain when and 
why the original name Palla became thus diversified; but 
after these dialectical variations had once come into use, it 
was advisable to retain rather than to drop them. 

*^ The god Padmanabha rests with his head at Tiruvallam and with his feet 
at Tirupalapur or Tirupadapur. The chief Nambnri priest of Travancore 
comes from Cochin and is called Aluvanceri Tamhurahal. See also Rev. 
S. Mateer's Land of Charity, p. 161, and Native Life in Travancore, p. 34. 

78 on the original inhabitants 

The Ballas. 

The tribe which bears this name has become famous 
throughout India at different times and in different places. 
We meet the Ballas in the North as well as in the South, 
but their fame is especially connected with those countries 
■which form now-a-days the north-western part of the Bom- 
bay Presidency, including its dependencies. Their ancient 
capital was the renowned Balabhlptira in Kathiawar. Enor- 
mous ruins, spread over fifteen miles, are evidence of its 
splendour before its destruction in the eighth century. 
Walla lies now near the site of Balabhipura. The kings of 
the Ballas are known as Balla Rajas (Balla-Eaos), Balharas 
and Ballalas. The power and splendour of the Balharas 
excited the admiration of mediseval Arabian travellers who 
visited the Indian shores. 

Some Ballas claim to belong to the Suryaramsa or sun- 
line and trace their descent from Lava's son Balla. The 
bards praise them as Tatta-MiiUan-ka-Bao, the Lords of Tatta 
and Multan. They called the territory which they conquered 
Ballak0ra with BalahMpur as its chief town. The Ballas 
of Surat derive their origin from Caiidra or the moon and 
connect their pedigree with the Balikaputras, the ancient 
lords of Aror on the Indus. The present Ballas and the 
Kathis, like their ancestors, still worship the sun, which is 
the presiding deity of Multan, a circumstance that intimates 
a Scythian and Non-Aryan origin. The Ballas are probably 
identical with the Mallas whom we have mentioned above. 
The Kathi of Kathiawar, who as Kathcei fought against 
the great Macedonian, claim to be descended from the 

The name of the Balla Rajas reappears in a different 
form at a later period in Mysore as the well-known Ballalas. 

Many places, all over India, still preserve the name of 
the Ballas. I reserve this subject for a later chapter, but 
mention here only such places as Belganm or Baliagrama, 


Ballasaniudram, Ballapallem, Balla'pur, MdhMvar (Maha- 
balleSvara), &o.^^ 

The BhIls. 

The Bhils are protably aborigines of Marwar. They 
live scattered over a great tract of country; they dwell so 
far north as the Aravalli Hills, and they are found in the 

*' See Ijieutenant-Colonel James Tod's Annals of Eajasthan, vol. I, pp. 
112, 113 : " All the genealogists, ancient and modem, insert the Balla trihe 
among the Eaj-culas. The it/rd, or hlessing, of the bard is Tatta Mooltan ca 
rao (Princes of Tatta and Mooltan), indicative of their original ahodes on the 
Indus. They lay claim, however, to descent from the Sooryavansi, and 
maintain that their great ancestor, Balla or Bappa, was the offspring of Lava, 
the eldest son of Ram ; thnt their first settlement in Sauiashtra was at the 
ancient Dhank, in more remote periods called Mongy Pottun ; and that, in 
conquering the country adjacent, they termed it Ballakhetr (their capital 
Balahhipoora) , and assumed the title of Ballah-rae. Here they claim 
identity with the Ghelote race of MSwar : nor is it impossible that they may 
be a branch of this family, which long held power in Saurashtra. Before 
the Ghelotes adopted the worship of Mahadeo, which period is indicated in 
their annals, the chief object of their adoration was the sun, giving them 
that Seijthic resemblance to which the Ballas have every appearance of 
claim. The BaUas on the continent of Saurashtra on the contrarj', assert 
their origin to be Induvansa, and that they are the Balica-pootras, who were 
the ancient lords of Arore on the Indus . . . The Cattis claim descent from 
the Ballas ; an additional proof of northern origin, and strengthening their 
right to the epithet of the bards ' Lords of Moolthan and Tatta.' The Ballas 
were of sufficient consequence in the thirteenth century to make incursions 
on Mewar, and the first exploit of the celebrated Rana Hamir was his killing 
the Balla chieftain of Choteela. The present chief of Dhank is a Balla, and 
the tribe yet preserves importance in the peninsula." 

Read also ibidem, pp. 216-219. "A work written to commemorate the 
" reign of Rama Raj Sing opens with these words : ' In the west is Sooratdes, 
" a country well known: the harbarians invaded it, and conquered Bhal- 
' ' ca-nath ; aU fell in the sack of Balahhipoora, except the daughter of the 
" Pramara.' And the Sanderai roll thus commences: When the city of 
" Balabhi was sacked, the inhabitants fled and founded Balli, Sanderai, and 
" Nadole in Mordur des. These are towns yet of consequence . The 

" tract about Balahhipoora and northward is termed Bhal, probably from 
"the tribe of Balla. . The sun was the deity of this northern tribe . . . 
"The solar orb and its type, fire, were the chief objects of adoration of 
" Silladitya of Balahhipoora." The Balarajas are also mentioned in the 
ylslfilic Researches, vol. IX. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Tod's Travels in Western India, London, 1839, pp. 
U7-149, contain the same information as above, to this is added the follow- 
ing : "The Balla pays adoration exclusively to the sun, and it is only in 


deserts of Sind and Eajputana as well as in the woody and 
inaccessible gorges of Kandesh and Ahmedabad. 

The name of the Bhils occurs in various Sanskrit works, 
and also in Ptolemy, VII, 1, 66. He makes mention of 
the PhylUtai together with the Bettigoi and Kandaloi. 

Instead of connecting the PhylUtai with the Bhils, as 
Lassen first rightly proposed to do, Sir A. Cunningham 
prefers to derive the term PhyUitai from the Greek word 

' ' Saurashtra that temples to this orb ahound ; so that religion, tradition as 
"regards their descent, and personal appearance, aU indicate an Indo-scy- 
" thio origin for this race, and in order to conceal their barbarian (mleteha) 
"extraction, the fable of their birth from Eama may have been devised. 
' ' The city of Balabhi , written Wulleh in the maps, and now an inconsider- 
" able village, was said to be twelve ooss, or fifteen miles, in circumference. 
"From its foundations, gigantic bricks, from one and-a-half to two feet in 
"length, are still dug; but of this hereafter. Enough has been said to 
" trace the origin of the Balhara of the Arabian travellers, the Baleokouras 
' ' of Ptolemy ; for, even in the second century, it had claims to the attention 
" of the royal geographer of Egypt. " See ibidem, pp.156, 159-169, where 
Colonel Tod discusses the Arabic accounts of the Balhara princes of India. 
On page 160 he says : " We may remark upon this description, first, of the 
'' title Balhara, that it was derived from Balld-cd-Rae, whose ancient capital 
"was Balabhipoor, on whose site Ptolemy has placed a Byzantium." I 
also derive Balhara from Balla Mdja, the word Balla having undergone the 
change, which I have explained on pp. 71 and 72. Though Colonel Tod 
gives abovethe right explanation, he called these rulers on p. 145 "Balhara, or 
more correctly Balha-raes, exalted kings." The Arabic travellers, especially 
Idn Ehurdadba and Al Idrisi, styled these monarchs and interpreted their 
name Balhara as meaning king of kings, and the late Mr. Edward Thomas, of 
numismatic reputation, explained it to signify Bara Rai, great king or lord 
paramount of the time being. Compare about this subject " The History of 
India," edited from the posthumous papers of Sir H. M. Elliot by Professor 
John Dowson, vol. I, pp. 3-5, 9, 13, 21, 24, 86, 87, 201 and 354-358, which 
latter passage contains u, great deal of information on this subject. The 
Riiiition des Voyaries fiits par lis Arabes et les Persans dans V Inde et a la 
Chine, par M. Eeinaud ; Paris, 1845, should be also consulted. 

Colonel Tod devotes a special chapter to Balabhi in his Travels in 
Western India, pp. 268-271. "The name of this is now Balli, or Wulleh . . 
Some interesting additions . . amply confirmed all I had recorded of it (Balabhi) 
from the Yutis of BaUi and Sandera in Marwar, the descendants of those 
who were expelled on its sack in S. 300 (A.D. 214)" . StiU, both books 

and tradition connect the tribe of Balla with the ancient sovereigns of 
Balabhi . The lord of Balla-khetra would, of course, be Bal-ca-rae, 
which doubtless originated the epithet, so often noticed, of the Balhara 
princes . Not far from B;ilabhi, there is a spot still sacred to the pilgrim, 


^vXXov, leaf, and to assign to it the meaning of leaf-clad. 
This expression, according to Sir Alexander, appropriately 
describes the Gronds, though parna, leaf, is used only in 
connection with the Sabaras, as he himself admits when 
referring to them. There is no objection to his explaining 
parna by " leaf -clad," though it can also signify "leaf -eating." 
In fact I prefer to a certain extent the former interpretation 
oiparna. But as the Phyllttai are mentioned by Ptolemy as a 

and connected with the grand national epic, the Mahabharat, called 
Bheemnath, where there is a fountain, whose waters, in past days, were of 
miraculous efficacy, and on whose margin is a temple to Siva, which attracts 
votaries from all quarters. The origin of this spot is referred to the adventures 
of the Pandua brothers, and their wanderings in exile amongst the forests of 
Berat, which tradition places in this very region, and its capital, Beratgurh, 
is held to he the more modem, but still interesting Dholka, included in Balla. 
khetra, and affording fresh and almost superabundant testimony to the 
veracity of the ancient chronicles of Mewar, which state Balabhi, Beratgurh, 
and G-urh-Gajni to have been the three chief cities, which owned their sway 
on their expulsion from the ' ' land of the Sauras . " The era of Balabhi, which 
is identical with the Gupta era, begins, according to the correct statement of 
Albirunl, in A.D. 3|S. The Balabhi grants are dated between the years 207 
and 447 of the Gupta era. (See Colonel Tod's Annals of Sajaslhan, vol. I, 
801. and Travels in Western India, p. 213, and in the Indian Antiquary, vols. 
XI, pp. 241, 305—9 ; XV., pp. 189, 273, 335 ; XVI, p. 147 ; the researches 
of Dr. Hultzsoh, Prof Biihler, and Mr. Fleet) . Balabhi was visited by Hiven 
Tsiang about 640 A.D. "On its destruction, in the middle of the eighth 
century, Anhulwarra became the metropolis, and this, as recorded, endured 
until the fourteenth, when the title of Bal-ca-rae became extinct." (Tod's 
Travels in Western India, p. 214.) 

Ptolemy mentions, VII, 1. 8Z 'iTriri Kovpa, ^curiKetovBaKe^Kovpov,^ for which 
WUlberg in his edition of Ptolemy substitutes 'BaAepKaJpou. This is the 
passage to which Colonel Tod has referred above in his Travels on p. 149, and 
which is mentioned also in his Annals, vol. I, p. 213. Chr. Lassen speaks in 
his Indische Alterthumskunde, vol. Ill, pp. 179, 185, and 186 of this passage, 
and places this Hippokura in the south ; ' ' Die Stadt muss in der Nahe des 
' ' j etzigen Mulkher gelegen haben . . Nur so viel lasst sich, ohne Besorgniss zu 
" irren, behaupten, dass dem Siripolemios die nordliohem, dem Baleokuros 
"die siidlichem Gebiete unterworfen waren." I conjecture that the word 
Balla is contained in Baleoktiru as well as in Balerkiirn, and if the latter is 
accepted as a reading, the r must indicate the title of Eaja or Eao. 

About Balabhi consult "Notes on the Ancient City of Balabhipura," 
by Mr. B. A. E. Nicholson, in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 
XIII, pp. 146-163. Eead alio the articles on this subject by the above men- 
tioned scholars, and those of the late Mr. J. Fergusson, and Professor R. Gopal 
Bhandarkar, in the Indian Antiquary, vols. I, III, IV, V, VI, VII, IS, XI, 



separate tribe distinguished from the Kandaloi, both cannot 
be merged into one, nor can Phyllltai be taken as a Greek 
word, for Ptolemy does not use Greek expressions instead 
of, or among other, Indian proper names without tendering 
an explanation for such an unusual proceeding. PhylUtai, 
moreover, does not occur in Greek in the sense suggested by 
Sir A. Cunningham. 

The passage in Ptolemy has no connection whatever with 
the Sabaras.'" 

XII, XIV, XV and XVI. Professor Biihler especially has by his puhlication 
and translation of a considerable number of Balabhi grants considerably 
contributed to the elucidation of this hitherto dark passage in Indian history. 

Compare also Sir Alexander Cunningham's remarks in the Arehceological 
Survey of India, vol. 11, pp. 33-35: " We know also that both the Balas 
and the Kathi of the present day pay special adoration to the sun, which 
was the chief deity of Multan, from the earliest times down to the reign 
of Aurangzib, by whose orders the idol is said to have been destroyed. It 
seems probable therefore that the Balas may be the same tribe as the Malli 
or Main of Alexander's historians, as the interchange of the letters b and 
m, which is of frequent occurrence in most languages, was very common in 
the Macedonian dialect." Compare about iliiUan, vol. V, pp. 114-136 of 
the Arehmological Survey of India ; and about the golden statue of the Sun, 
H. M. Elliot's History of India, vol. I, pp. 11, 23, 27, 35, 82, 206 and 469. 

The remark about the Macedonian dialect is misleading, as the Greek 
historians mention the Malloi, and as the change of m into b is in this 
instance of Indian origin. 

'<> The Pardsarapaddhati mentions the Bhlls, Pulindas, Pullas, MaUas and 
others in the following lines : 

Pulinda-Meda-BhiUasca Pullo MaUai^ca Phavakah, 
Kundakaro Dokhalo va Mrtapo Hastipas tatha ; 
Ete vai Tivarajjatah kanj-ayam Brahmanasya ca. 

See Ptolemy, VII, 1, 66; "Ilepi ie r'bv "Havayovvav ^vWlrai koX Brimy^, 
iv oTs Kcii'SaXot )U€V -/rapct tovs 4>uA.XiTas koX rhv i:oTafx6v''' See Sir A. Cun- 
ningham iu the Archeeological Survey of India, vol. IX, p. 151: " In his 
"(Ptolemy's) day the large district at the head of the Nanagnna, or Tapti 
" River, was occupied by the Kondali or Gondali, a name which has been 
' ' generally identified with that of the Gonds. But their country is described 
"as pars PhuUitarum, the P/faKitee themselves being placed more to the 
" north. I take this name to be a pure Greek one, tpuAXenai, descriptive 
" of the ' leaf -clad ' aborigines. Varaha Mihira notices the Parna-Sabaras, 
'• or ' leaf -clad Sauras ' ; and we know that the Juangs of the present day 
" still preserve this primitive costume. I believe, therefore, that there may 
"have been Pa/7M Gaudas, or 'leaf-clad Gonds,' in the time of Ptolemy, 
" and that these are the people intended by his PhuUitae-Gondali." 


The Mars of Ajmere resemble the Bhils, and these again 
are not dissimilar to the Parheyas and Khonds. The Bhils 

This opinion does not appear to coincide with that expressed by Sir A. 
Cunningham in vol. XXI, p. 93 : " Still further to the south Ptolemy places 
" the PhuUitae and the Kondali, -whose country is descrihed as Pars Phulli- 
" tarum. Phullitae I take to he a Greek name descriptive of the Parna 
" Savaras, or 'leaf -clad Savaras,' one of the most powerful of the ahoriginal 
"races in the early centuries of the Christian era. Their only town was 
" Aguftt, which may perhaps be identified with Sagar." In H.T.Colebrooke's 
edition of A.marakosa, Serampore, 1825, p. 2.52, note j, we read ; savarah or 
patrascwarah, wearing feathers (a peacock's tail, &c.). A. Loiseleur Deslong- 
champs' French edition contains on p. 233 the same remark. In Bothlingk 
and Roth's SansJcrit W'drterbueh, vol. IV, p. 417, standis patrasaoara, " ein 
mitFedem sich schmiickender Savara." BrhatsamhitS, XIV, 10, mentions 
the Purikadasdrndh with saha nagnaparnasataraih ; and Bothlingk calls 
ibidem, p. 574 the Parnasavara, von Blattem lebende Savara, i.e., Savaras, 
who live on leaves ; the term occurs also in MarkandSya Purana. Some take 
Parna as the name of a people ; e.r/., Mr. N. Chidambaram Iyer, who 
translates this passage : Nagna, Parna and Sahara. It is possible that in this 
place three different tribes are enumerated, the Nagna (naked), the Partia, 
and the Sahara : for if two tribes, the Nagna-iahara and Parna-saiara, 
i.e., the "naked Sahara" and the " leaf -Sahara, " are only mentioned, 
in order to prevent any doubt on this subject, any other mode of expression 
would have been preferable to the use of the compound in the Instrumental 
Plural, i.e., to nagnaparnasabaraih. I ought also not omit to mention that 
the Sabardh occur ten times in the Brhatsamhitd, but only once in the quoted 
place in connection with either nagna or parna. To these remarks I join 
General Sir A. Cunningham's comments as contained in his 17th vol. pp. 127, 
12S: "I think it probable that Colebrooke's reading of Patra Savaras is 
' ' erroneous, as Variha Mihira gives the name of Parpa Savara, or leaf -clad 
" Savaras. Varaha places in the south-east quarter, in the territory of the 
' ' aborigines, the Purikas, the Dasimas, the ' ' naked Saiaras, and the Parva 
" iSaiaras," and in the south the Sauris and Kirnas. The commentator, 
** however, takes these two names as one, or Saitri- Kirnas, who are probably 
" the people of Hwen Tsang's Kirna-Suvarna, Professor Kern thinks that 
'■ the Parna Savaras are ' manifestly the Phyllitae of Ptolemy,' and he ex- 
" plains the name as ' feeding upon leaves.' But, as we know that the Juangs, 
" a cognate race, still wear leaves, it seems to me more probable that the 
"term means ' leaf-clad.' In other places Varaha speaks of the ' Savara 
"savages,' (IX, 15), the 'savage Sabaras and Puliudas ' (IX, 29), and 
" of various tribes of i^aico'« savages (XXXII, 16). This last notice must 
' ' refer to more than the two tribes of Nagna Sabaras, or ' Naked Savaras, 
" and Parna Savaras, or ' Leaf-clad.' Both Amara and Varaha date about 
"A.D. 650." 

To my previous remarks, I only add that the term c/JuWiTai, as used by 
Ptolemy, cannot apply to the Sabaras, who are mentioned by him VII, 1, 80 
near the Ganges ; that a word tpvWeirai does, I believe, not occur in Greek, 
though <f>u\\(T7)s (m) and tpvWiris (J) are used in the sense of (pxiWifos, made of 
leaves ; that the Phyllitae are distinguished by Ptolemy from the Kondaloi 


being mostly mountaineers, are called in Kanarese Koracaru 
or Kuncciyar, and a Bhil woman or Koravahji is known in 
Sanskrit as Bhilld str'i or Pdrvafei/i.''^ Koravanji is also the 
name of a girl whom Arjuna is said to have married when 
he stayed in the Raicataka forest.'^ 

Cairns, cromlechs and stone platforms testify on the tops 
of hills to the presence of the Bhils. Clay horses are, as in 
Southern India, dedicated to the gods. If images of horses 
are deposited near or on the tops of hills, the souls of the 
dead are supposed to shorten their journey to heaven by 
using them. 

Though of a wild and unmanageable disposition and 
much addicted to thieving, the Bhils can, when they have 
once been won by kind and just treatment, be easily turned 
into useful and trustworthy servants, soldiers, and land 
labourers. Some of their villages show superior cultivation. 
In Nimar and elsewhere they fill the post of hereditary 

and that both cannot be regarded as one nation " Phyllitae-Oondali" (IX, 
p. 151) or as *' leaf-clad Savaras " (XXI, p. 93) : that the countrj^ of thp KoTtd- 
all is not by Ptolemy described ae Fan F/iiU/itariim ; and that the Sabaras 
are in the Brhatsaihhita, IX, 15, 29, and XXXII, 1 5, not respectively called 
" Savara savages," "savage Sabaras and Pulindas," and of "various 
tribes of Sahara savages," for we find there in the text dvikdnchabarasudrdn 
(IX, 15), s'abarapulindapradJiramsakaro (IX, 29) and Tangana-Kalinga-J'ahga- 
iJrariddh Sabardsea naikavidhdh, the Sabaras mentioned, but nowhere as 
Sahara savages. The Snhitya Larpana mentions the different dialects, by 
whom they should be spoken, and indicates that the language of the Abhiras 
and Sabaras should be used by those who gain their living by wood and 
leaves; i.e., most probably by wood-cutting and leaf-gathering (Abhlrl 
Savari capi kasthapatropajivisu). We meet here the Sabaras in connection 
with pair a. 

Bishop Caldwell advocates in his Comparative Grammar the derivation of 
:Bhil from bil, arrow, as he says on p. 464 : " Bhillas, probably Billas, from 
the Dra vidian vil, Ul, a bow, bowmen." The Bettigoi are also called Bittoi, 
Bittioi, and Bittigoi. Compare Lassen, vol. I, p. 113 (88), and Sherring, 
vol. II, p. 128-9, 284, 291-300, 326 ; III, 81-84. 

" See Dalton, pp. 264, 284, 430 and 439. Compare also " An Account 
of the Maiwar BhUs," by Mr. T. H. Hendley, Bengal Asiatic Journal, vol. 
XLIV, pp. 347-388. 

" The marriage is mentioned in a Kanarese ballad. A commentary of 
the Bharatacampfl goes also by the name of Koravardmiyam. 


watchmen, as the Mhars and Holeyas do in other parts of 

The chiefs of the Bhils are known as BMlldlas. Some 
Bhil chiefs have assumed the title of Ndyak or Naick, as the 
Pallis and Mahars have done. The founder of the Yadava 
Dynasty of Demgiri bore the name of Bhillama, which word 
I have previously explained. This Bhillama is also called 
Bhillamanrpa, and Balanrpa, and Bellam. 

Colonel Tod names Bulla as the progenitor of the Bhils.'' 

The Pulindas. 
Not only in their name but also in their habits and 
ciistoms do the Pallar, Pulayar and their kiadred tribes 

" See Mr. T. H. Hendley's Account of the Maiuidr Bhils, vol. 44, p. 347, 
ff . : "In tlie MRy tracts, the erection of cairns, usually on hill tops ; the 
adoption of Shiva and his consort as symbols of the powers of terror and 
darkness ; the construction of stone platforms on which stand blocks smeared 
with red paint ; the sacrifice of animals and tradition of human oblations ; 
the use of effigies of the horse are apparently relics of their ancient faith. 
Piles of loose stones, . . or mere platforms, are erected on the summits of high 
hills, . . on these are arranged a large number of stone or burnt clay images 
of the horse. I have seen a hollow cairn on the verge of a steep crag near 
Khairwara, four feet in diameter and as many deep, filled with these 
images, each of which was about four inches in length . . The common 
explanation of the construction of cairns and horses is as follows : — Heaven 
is supposed to be but a short distance from earth, but the souls of the dead 
have to reach it by a very painful and weary journey, which can be avoided 
to some extent during life by ascending high hills, and there depositing 
images of the horse — which in addition to reminding the gods of the work 
already accomplished, serve as chargers upon which the soul may ride a 
stage to bliss. . . The Bhil is an excellent wood-man, knows the shortest 
cuts over the hills ; can walk the roughest paths and climb the steepest 
crags without slipping or feeling distressed. . . Though robbers, and 
timorous, owing to ages of ill-treatment, the men are brave when trusted, 
and very faithful ; they have been looked upon by the Rajputs as wild 
beasts to be hunted down as vermin, and are now only beginning to feel 
themselves men. . History proves them always to have been faithful to 
their nominal Kajplit sovereigns, especially in their adversity. The Bhil 
is a merry soul loving a jest." About the Bhils read the account of Mr. 
W. I. Sinclair in the Indian Antiquary, vol. IV, pp. 336-338. 

Colonel Tod mentions Bulla on the first table of his Annals. In the IV 
Appendix to the same volume on p. 802 PuUnda-Devi is explained as the 
goddess of the Bhil tribe. 

With respect to the Naick title in use among the Bhils, see Dr. Wilson's 


resemble the ancient Pulindas, who lived in olden times in 
various districts all over India. 

In the Aitareya Brahmana the Pulindas, together with 
the Andhras, Pundras, Sabaras,'* and Mutibas, are declared 
to be the offspring of the cursed elder sons of Yisvamitra, 
while, according to another tradition, they were descended 
from the dark-skinned, flat-nosed, and dwarfish Nisada, who 
had been produced by rubbing the thigh of the corpse of the 
impious king Vena. The Pulindas are frequently mentioned 
in the classical language of India as well as in those of 
Earope. The Ramayaaa fixes their abode in different parts 
of Northern and Southern India. They are found on the 
banks of the Indus, and even in Ceylon ; " in Central India 
they occupied extensive tracts and dwelt among the Bhils, 
Sabaras, and Gronds in such a manner that the one are often 
mistaken for the other. The Mahabharata, Visnu-, Bhaga- 
vata-, Padma-, and other Puranas, the Brhatsamhita and 
various works contain repeated allusions to them, and Ptolemy 
introduces them by the name of Pulindai agriophagoi,''^ or 

Indian Caste, vol. I, p. 99 : " The word Nak, the contraction of Nay ah, is 
the common epithet (of respect) used by the lowly Mahars of the Maratha 
country. From the abundance of Nahi connected with the BhiUs of the 
Baria jungles, east of Baroda, they are called Nakadas." Compare also 
Sherring's Hindu Tribes and Castes, vol. II, p. 299 ; " The territories of 
Baria and Chota Oodepoor, in Rewa Kanta, were infested by a class of 
Bheels, known as Naikras, of peculiarly savage and predatory habits." 
Consult also Indian Antiquary, vol. Ill, p. 208, on Nakara ; Nayak ; 

■>' I quote here the derivation of the word Sahara proposed by 
General Sir Alex. Cunningham, Archaohgieal Survey of India, vol. XVII, 
p. 113 : " The origin of the name of Savara must be sought for outside the 
" language of the Aryas. In Sanskrit Snrara simply means a ' corpse.' 
" From Herodotus, however, we learn that the Scythian word for an ' axe ' 
" was Sagaris ; and as g and v are interchangeable letters, Sarar is the same 
"word as Sagar. It seems, therefore, not unreasonable to infer that the 
'' tribes, who were so called, took their name from their habit of carrying 
" axes. Now it is one of the striking peculiarities of the Savaras that they 
"are rarely seen without an axe in their hands." 

'* See Lassen's Indische AUerthums/cunde, vol. II, p. 101, 469. 

'* no\/K7ySai aypiopdyoi ; Ptol., VII, 1, 64. 


raw flesh and wild fruits eating Pulindas, as living north of 
the present Barok. 

On Pulaha, Pulastya, Puloman, &c. 

The previously mentioned names of Pulaha, Pulastya, 
Puloman, ^c, bear in their first two syllables Pula a strange 
resemblance to the name of the Pulayar and Pulindas. Sans- 
krit grammarians generally connect the names of these 
Saints with the root pwl, to be great, and the word Pulastya 
is also derived from pulas, standing for puras. These deri- 
vations, however, appear too artificial." 

Pulastya is said to be the father of Agastya and Vilravas. 
Visravas had four sons. Ruber a by Idavida (or Ilavila) 
and Ravana, Kumhhakarna, and Vibhisana by Kesini. The 
saintly civiliser of Southern India, Agastya, is thus, as pre- 
viously noticed, very closely indeed related to the chief of 
the hated Eaksasas, being in fact the uncle of Eavana, the 
god- despising king of Lanka. While Ravana conquered 
.India and reduced the gods to abject subjection, from which 
they were only rescued by Visnu appearing as Balarama, his 
uncle Agastya waged war with the demons and advised 
Rama how to subdue the Raksasas. Similar family discords 
assisted Rama in his warfare against Ravana and Bali, 
whose respective brothers Vibhisana and Sugriva joined 

"While Ravana is regarded with horror by the Brah- 
mans, Rdvanabhet, a Vedic work on Phonetics, is ascribed to 
this Eaksasa. His memory is still cherished by the Jains. 

" Compare the remarks of the Eev. F. Kittel on the root pulai, pule, pole 
and on Pulaha and Pulastya in the Indian Antiquary, vol. VIII (1879), 
pp. SO, 51. Though I arrived at my conclusions previously to my reading 
Mr. Kittel's suggestive article, I admit his priority in this respect and gladly 
quote his opinion : "The Pallava . . and the Pallavaka, a libertine, a gallant, 
"I do not hesitate to connect with poleya ; and who knows whether the 
" ancient Pallava dynasty was not a dynasty of certain Poleyas when still a 
" powerful tribe." 


It is also curious that Havana is esteemed and acknowledged 
by pious Pandits as a learned man, and is supposed to have 
heen the author of a Telugu Grammar.'* 

Though the Raksasas are described in the Ramayana 
and elsewhere as horrible monsters both physically and 
morally, it appears that the condition of being a Raksasa 
depended more upon the sins committed by an individual or 
by his progenitors than upon the accident of birth. If 
this be admitted, the physical monstrosities ascribed to the 
Raksasas must be regarded as the exaggerated creations of 
a morbid and hostile imagination. 

Even the Eamayana , extols the beauty and grandeur of 
Lanka, its architectural splendour, and the efficiency of its 
administration. This latter was so excellent, that no thief 
dared to pick up any valuable thing lost in its streets. 
The enemies of Rama could hardly, therefore, have been so 
rude and uncivilised as they are generally represented. 

The ancient historical capital of Ceylon went by the 
name of Pulastinagara.'^ If Ravana is regarded as the king 
of Lanka, and perhaps also as the master of Southern India, 
and if the present Pulayar are admitted to be representa- 
tives of the aborigines, the startling similarity of the names 
Pulastya and Pulayan is at once explained. 

The relationship between the Paulastya Agastya and 
the Paulastya Ravana opens at all events a new and wide per- 
spective. It thus appears that the mind-born sons of Brahma 
should be taken as the progenitors of all the different races 
of India, and that, as all men emanate from one common 
source, no vital difference is acknowledged to exist between 

■"8 Compare the Andhxa Kaumudi in which the Ravamya, the Telugu 
Grammar ascribed to EAvana, is repeatedly mentioned. 

" lliigasthenes calls the Singhalese Falaiogonoi and the Periplus maris 
F.rtjthrai caUs Cej'lon Falaesimuiidn. See Lassen's Ind. Alt., I, p. 240 
{2nd edition) ; compare alsoMr. T.W. Rhys Dayids in the Indian Antiquary, 
vol. II (1873), p. 286, on Pulastipura. 


them at first. The degraded condition into which some sank 
was, therefore, due to subsequent events. 

The word Pula must be regarded as a corruption of Palla. 
This change from a to ti is easily accounted for. Not ouly 
is the letter a changed into u, as in the Sanskrit joa/a which 
in Tamil becomes piilai, but the vowel a is often, especially in 
the North India, pronounced as u. 

It is even possible that the names of the demon Ilvala, 
who was destroyed by Agastya, and of his son Balvdla con- 
tain another reference to the original Pallas. At all events 
the similarity of the names of Pulaha, Pulastya, Puloman, 
&c., with that of the Pulayar, as well as the connection 
which the near relationship between the Sage Agastya and 
the Eaksasa Ravana suggests as existing between the Brah- 
manical civiliser of Southern India and the representative 
ruler of the aborigines, should command in future researches 
the attention of the scholar. 


On the Pallis, Agnikulas, Pandyas, Vellalar, &c. 
The Agnikulas. 
Another portion of the aboriginal South-Indian popula- 
tion is represented by the Pallis. The Pallis form at this 
moment on the whole a highly respectable class, living partly 
as agriculturists in the country and partly as citizens in towns. 
They belong to the caste of the Vannit/ar {(b-usirenfliLur).^'' 
The word Vanniyan is generally derived from the Sanskrit 

80 This caste includes also the Anuppar, Bailagar, Devadigar, Kallar, 
Maravar Masadikar, Bantar, Muppar, Nattamhadis, Padaiyaccis, Pariva- 
rams Sudras, UppiHyar, TJdayar and Vanniyar. According to the last Census 
Report the Pallis number 1,300,733 souls, of whom 1,295,049 live in the 
Madras Presidency, which number is only exceeded by the Shanar with 
2 028 546 of whom 1,478,660 dweU also in Madras, by the VeUalar with 
l'683'lOo' and by the Pariahs with 3,223,938 persons, and the whole of the 
other' unclassified population consisting of 3,934.990 individuals. The 
last two figures refer to the Madras Presidency alone. 



Vahiii, fire. Agni, the god of fire, is connected with the 
regal office, as kings hold in their hands the fire wheel or 
Agneyacahra, and the Vanniyar urge in support of their 
name the regal descent they claim, for they contend that the 
Pandya kings belonged to their race. In the north of India 
four races — the Cauhan, Cdluhya (S5lanki), Pramdra, and 
Parihdra — similarly claim to originate from Agni, and are 
called Agnikulas. 

The existence of these Fire-races, Agnikula or Vahnikula 
(Vanniyan), in North and South India is a remarkable fact. 
No one can refuse to a scion of a Non- Aryan warrior tribe the 
title of Rdjaputra, but in so doing we establish at once Aryan 
and Non- Aryan Rajaputras or Rajputs. The Vanniyan of 
South India may be accepted as a representative of the Non- 
Aryan Rajput element. Yet, if we thus admit a Turanian 
element among the Rajputs, the question arises, how far does 
it extend ? The modern Rajputs of Northern India are in 
most cases the offspring of mixed parentage, for even Aryan 
warriors of pure extraction did not scorn in bye-gone times 
to take as wives by peaceful or violent means the alien 
daughters of the soil.** 

The legend goes that after Parasurama had swept the 
Ksatriya race from the surface of the earth, ignorance and 
infidelity began to spread again in the land, and the Brah- 
mans were prevented by impious races —Asuras, Daityas, 
and Danavas — from fulfilling their sacred rites. Vasistha, ov 
according to others his great rival Viivdmitra, took compas- 
sion on the oppressed, and with Indra, Brahma, Siva, Yisnu 
and the other gods repaired to the Agnikunda, i.e., the hollow 
which contained the consecrated fire, on Mount Abu, the 
celebrated peak of Rajasthan. There the hermits prayed 
and purified the fire fountain with the sacred water of the 
Ganges. Indra first formed a figure of grass and sprinkling on 

" Compare pp. 45 and 46 on the genealogies of the EAjputs. 


it the water of life, cried : " Mar, Mar " " Slay, Slay," and the 
Paramdra, the killer of enemies, appeared. Abu Dhar and 
Uj jain were assigned to him as his territory. Brahma instilled 
his essence into the second image, and throwing it into the 
pit, Caluk or Solanki appeared with a sword in one hand, 
the Veda in the other, and a noose round his neck. He 
received Anhalptir. Slca formed the third figure, and Pari- 
hara rose as an ill-favored black figure armed with a how. He 
stumbled and was placed as a guardian at the temple gates. 
Nine places of the desert, Marusthalam, were assigned to him. 
Vimit formed Caturbhuja Cauhan, who appeared like him 
four-armed, in each arm carrying a peculiar weapon. He 
received Macavati Nagari. These were the ancestors of the 
Agnikulas who destroyed the demon races, and of all the 
thirty-six royal races the four Agnikulas rank highest, ac- 
cording to " Chaiid, the great bard of the Chohans." ^^ This 
creation " is dated so far back as the opening of the second 
"age of the Hindus" (Tod, ibidem, -p. 442). Cauhan chro- 

^'^ See for this account Tod's Eajasthan, vol. II, pp. 440, £E. Vis'vdmitra 
is here mentioned as the presiding priest, while in the first volume, p. 95, 
Vasistha fills this place : " From the fire-fountain a figiu?e issued forth, but 
he had not a warrior's mien. The Brahmins placed him as guardian of the 
gate, and thence his name, Prithiha-dwara (portal or door [dwar) of the earth ; 
contracted to Prithihara and Purihara) . A second issued forth, and being 
formed in the palm {chaloo) of the hand was called Chalooka. A third ap- 
peared and was named Pramara (the first striker) . He had the blessing of the 
Eics, and with the others went against the demons, but they did not prevail. 
Again Vasiatha, seated on the lotus, prepared incantations ; again he called 
the gods to aid : and as he poured forth the libation, a figure arose, lofty in 
stature, of elevated front, hair like jet, eyes roUing, breast expanded, fierce, 
terrific, clad in armour, quiver filled, a bow in one hand and a brand in the 
other, quadriform {chatooranga), whence his name Chohan {ehatoor or cha, 
'four'; Anga, body')." About Canhan, see EUiot's Sup. Glossary, vol. I, 
p. 63, ff. 

The discrepancies between these two legends are considerable, not only 
so far as the presiding priests are concerned, bat also with respect to the order 
of creation, and because in the description given in the text the gods them- 
selves take part in the creation. Caluka or culuka signifies a hollowed hand to 
hold water. Colonel Tod assigns (II, p. 441), as above stated, the nonangul 
Marusthali, or ' nine habitations of the desert ' to Parihara, while he had 
previously (vol. I, p. 91) allotted the No-lcote MaroosthuUi to Pramara. 


nicies mention AJa as the founder of Ajmere, the mountain of 
Aja. Tradition connects Candragupta with the Mori branch 
of the Pramaras. Ujjayliu, the capital of Vikramaditya, is 
assigned to them, and Bhdja Raja, at whose court the Nine 
Gems are said to have flourished, belonged to the Pramara 

It is not my purpose to discuss here the fortunes of these 
celebrated clans ; they are only of interest in this inquiry 
in so far as a connection might be established between the 
Agnikula of the North and the Vanniyar of the South. 

Lassen regards the derivation of the name Pramara from 
Paramura in the sense of killfi of enemies as suspicious and 
ascribes it to a later period."' Colonel Tod says : " that 
" these races, the sons of Agni, were but regenerated, and 
" converted by the Brahmins to fight their battles, the 
" clearest interpretation of their allegorical history will dis- 
" close, and . . warrants our asserting the Agniculas to be 
" of this same race, which invaded India about two centuries 
" before Christ."— (Vol. I, p. 90.) No matter whether 
Colonel Tod's reasoning and conclusion are right or wrong, 
one can agree with him so far as the Non-Aryan origin of 
the Agnikulas is concerned. 

As has previoiisly been stated, mention is made by 
Ptolemy, VII, 1, 70, of the Poruaroi (Ilapovapoi), a name 
which Lassen thinks is derived from Pramara.^* I believe 
that Lassen is mistaken on this point. I prefer to explain 
the m as a modification of an original r, as, e.g., in Vellama 
for Pallava, and to suggest Pararara as the original form 
of Paramara. 

*' See Lassen's In<i. AHcrth., Ill, p. .572 : " Da sein Name sonst Pramara 
lautet, must jene Erkliirung des Namens als eine willkuhrliche Dichtung 

** See Lassen, ibidem, IIT, p. 150 ; " Von denPorvaroi habe ich schonlrii- 
her temerkt, dasb ihr Name hochst wahrseheinlich aus dem bekannten, sich 
Prmndra nennenden Geschleclite der Rajaputra enstellt ist, welcher in der 
Volksspiacho Pnnvar lautet und in dieser Form weiter von Pr&mara entfernt 
ist, als Porvara." 


I have already connected the Paravari of the Maratha 
country with the Poruaroi of Ptolemy, and eventually with 
the Pariahs of Southera India. Others identify the Poruaroi 
with the Pariharas. Whichever derivation is right, we can- 
not he far wrong, if we regard the connection between the 
Poruaroi and the Paravar and Pariahs as established, mainly 
in consequence of the identity between the Marathi Paravari 
and the Mahars.*' 

One of the 15 sub-divisions of the South-Indian Vanniyar 
is called Pariodram, which name, if not of Sanskrit origin, 
may likewise be considered as a connecting link between the 
northern and southern Paravari. 

Under these circumstances the terms Pramdra and Pari- 
Mra can be traced to an ancient Dravidian source and 
associated with the Paradas and similar names. Dr. Fr. 
Buchanan has, as I have quoted, proposed to connect the 
Pariharas with the Bhars. 

No doubt most of the Rajputs are easily distinguishable 
from other Hindus by their proud bearing, fiae figure and 
lighter complexion, but these peculiarities do not necessarily 
point to an Aryan origin, for such varieties in outward 
appearance are found in all large nations which contain 
different classes and ranks. The Turcomans of Western 
Asia, the Osmanli Turks and the Magyars of Hungary, 
who are not Aryans, count among the finest races. If the 
origin of the Agnikulas throughout India can be eventually 
proved as Non-Aryan, a very important historical fact will 

8' Arehmohgieal Survey of India, vol. JX, p. 5. " The Porudri, who are 
" very prohably the same people aa the Parihars ; " ibidem, vol. XXI, p. 93: 
" To the south of the BoUngae, Ptolemy places the Poruari with their three 
" towns, named Bridama, Tholohana, and Malaita. The people I take to he 
" the Parihar Eajputs, who have occupied this part of the country from a 
"very early date." — Mr. McCrindle says in his Ancient India as described 
by Ptoleimj, p. 164 : " POrouaroi (Poroaroi) :— This is the famous race of 
the Pauravas, which, after the time of Alexander, was all predominant in 
Rajasthana under the name of the Pramaras." 


have been ascertained. New researches have shown that the 
Aryan population in India is very limited in numbers, and 
that even admitting all Brahmans to be of pure Aryan origin, 
this highest caste counts according to the last census only 
13,693,439 members against a grand total of 252,541,210.86 

On the Pallis. 
A feeling of superiority has of late re-asserted itself 
among the Pallis. The Madras Census Report of 1 87 1 states : 
" The Vunnias or Pullies are the great agricultural laboring 
" class of the southern districts. Before the British occu- 
" pation of the country, they were slaves to the Vellalar 
" and Brahman cultivators ; but a large number of them 
" are now cultivators on their own account, or else work the 
" lands of the higher castes, on a system of sharing half 
" the net produce with the proprietor." *' With the return 

«« See Madras Census Seporl oi 1881, vol.1, pp. 103-105. " It will also be 
" unnecessary here to go oyer the old discussion as to how far the caate system 
'■ of Southern India is of Aryan origin. It may he safely accepted that the 
' ' mass of the people are not Aryan ; that indeed none of them are Aryan, 
' ' except the Brahmans, prohably not all of these, for there are several classes 
"or sub-divisions of Brahmans of more or less hazy origin. All the rest of 
" the so-called Hindus may, if they please, call themselves Shudras, but they 
" are in fact a Dra vidian or Turanian or Scythian people, who have adopted 
" in a very highly-developed form, the Aryan caste system, whose germs are 
" found in the four caste system of Menu ... Of late years, castes have been 
" 80 infinitely multiplied that, even if there were any recognised principle of 
"precedence, the nuances of rank would be so slight, that the places of the 
" several castes could not be distinguished. But there is no such principle. 
" Except the members of the admittedly degraded and depressed castes, each 
" Shudra thinks, or professes to think, his caate better than his neighbour's. 
" The Shanar claims to be Eajput. The Kammila and Pattnul growl that, if 
" they had their rights, they would be recognised as Brahmans. But in this 
" matter, as in the matter of occupation, modern innovation has had its effect, 
" Wealth means social pre-eminence in the India of 1881, nearly as much as 
" it does in England. A Shudra millionaire cannot be made a Bi-ahman, but 
" ho can purchaae the services of Brahmans. A Brahman cannot eat with 
" him ; but this ia the Brahman's loaa, for the millionaire's rice is fair and 
" his ghee unexceptionable." 

^^ The Madras Census Report, vol. I, p. 157, continues : "Others are 
simply labourers, and many of them, by taking advances fi'om their 
employera, are still practically serfs of the soil, and unable to extricate 


of self-esteem and independence the Pallis have not been 
backward in denying such a statement as the one just 
made concerning their alleged condition of serfdom, and in 
urging their claims. They have thus lately presented to 
G-overnment a petition in order to obtain certain concessions 
at Kahoipuram, Srirahgam and Madras. They claim to be 
the descendants of Manimahamuni and, as what formerly 
belonged to them, demand the Dharmakartaship of the 
Ekambaresvarasvami-kovil in Kancipuram, and the censor- 
ship over the nine classes of people there, including in it 
even the chiefs of the Itankai and Valankai, i.e., of the 
left and right hand people. The Jdtisangmhasara and the 
JdtibhSdanul contain much valuable information on this topic, 
though no critical acumen has been exercised in arranging 
and verifying the evidence. 

It is very unfortunate that hardly any question of his- 
torical interest which concerns the various classes of the 
population of this country is considered with impartiality. 
Class interest and caste pride prevent unbiassed inquiries and 
even-balanced decisions. The relations of the various agri- 

themselves from the bondage of the landlord. In all respects, these people 
have the characteristics of aboriginal tribes. They are, as a rule, a very dark- 
skinned racp, but good field laborers, excellent farm servants, and cultivators. 
They abound largely in the Tamil districts of Trichinopoly and Tan j ore. 
The Vunnim, like so many of the Sodra castes in the south, are striving to 
prove that their position in the caste system is a wrong one. In 1833 they 
attempted, in Pondicherry, to get a legal decision that they were not of a 
low caste ; but the administration refused to deal with the question, on the 
ground that the Hindu law did not refer to the Vunnim at all. There can be 
no doubt that when the aboriginal tribes ruled in South India, many Vunnias 
raised themselves to the position of Folygars, or independent chiefs. The 
term Naick is usually afiSxed to the names of the Vunnias, and the Naicks of 
Madura and Tinnevelly were great men not very long ago. There are about 
thirty sub-divisions of the Fullies, named chiefly after their different occupa- 
tions, hut they may all eat together and some intermarry." The Census of 
1881,in vol. I, p. 104, says: " The Palli, once the Vellala's slave, is still 
working on the soil as a laborer and often as a proprietor. But the work of 
divorce between occupation and caste has not only begun, but has advanced, 
and is advancing." 


cultural classes to one another are very strained, and the 
evidence which the one may supply with respect to the other 
should always be accepted with great caution. Thus the 
acrimonious dissensions whicli exist between the Pallis and 
Vellalar are a matter of deep regret, but they must be men- 
tioned here to explain why certain statements concerning 
both cannot be admitted in an historical inquiry, as they are 
unsupported by facts and are tainted by prejudice.'* 

The investigation which I am now making is sine ira 
et studio, and I trust it will be accepted as such by those 
who come within its range. 

The difference which at an early stage divided the Pallar 
from the Pallis was, I believe, that the former confined 
themselves to the country, palayain, while the latter congre- 
gated mostly in villages and towns. These were named palli 
(usueS) or palli {u&retff) in contradistinction to the country 
or Pdlaiyam (un-SsmuLb) in Tamil and pdlemu (^"^^o) in 
Telugu. The feudal chieftains were called after the country 
Poligars."^ The bulk of the Pallas, who lived as agricultural 

*' Compare "The Poyakliarries rersus Meerassidars, or the Revenue 
System of Madras," by A. Venkatachella Naicker, p. 9. Again, in the third 
place, Mr. Place states that the Pullees were servants of the Brahmins. Any 
thing more untrue could not he stated. The Pullees or Vunneers were not 
the servants of the Brahmins. They were formerly the ruling race of a very 
large portion of Southern India. The potentates, Sharen, Choleu, and Paun- 
dian were all Vunneers, and all the southern and western Poligars and 
Zemindars are, even at the present time, Vunneers ; and on p. 12 : In proof 
that the Pullees or Vunneers were the most powerful and most prevalent 
race in Southern India, there are the boundary stones which are marked with 
the Royal "wheel of mandate "an ensign of the roj'al descent of the 
Vunneers ; also the inscriptions on the temples of Conjeeveram and in fact 
on the muntapums and other sacred shrines throughout the Chingleput 
district. Whilst the Vellalars had the mark of a trident on their boundary 
stones, and the boundary stones of the agraharums bore the impression of 
a short Brahmia with an umbrella. 

Consult about the S&sanama concerning the Vanniyar Jdtisangrakasira, 
pp. 272, 326, &c. 

*' Pdlaiyakkdraii in Tamil and Fdlegddu in Telugu. For Pdlemu, 
encampment, baronial village, occurs in Telugu also the word Telamu. 


labourers in the country, were, like our rustics, peasants or 
boors, while the inhabitants of a village or small town {palK, 
palli, palle, &o.), assuming the same name as the place they 
inhabited, became gradually urbane and polite citizens.'" 

The Pallis generally worship in temples dedicated to 
Dharmardja. In these temples are found the images of 
Yudhisthira (or Dharmaraja) and of his four brothers Bhima, 
Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva, of DraupadT, of K-psna, and 
occasionally of PStaraja (also Poturdju in Telugu and Potappa 
in Kanarese). The head of Ira vat, the son of Arjuna and 
XJliipI, who, according to popular tradition, was killed on 
the day preceding the battle as an oblation to the battle-field, 
and whose head looked on the fight for eighteen days, is 
often exhibited on a pole during the festival. The Maha- 
bharata fixes the death of Iravat on the eighth day of the 
battle. A Palli is, as a rule, the pujdri or priest of the 
shrine. The above-mentioned Potardja is a rustic god 
revered especially in the Telugu, Kanarese, and Marathi 
districts, and his wives are known as Grangamma, Polakamma 
or Poleramma (the goddess of small-pox), &c. 

At the great annual festival in honor of Dharmaraja, or 
the local god or goddess, people walk over burning coals, 
in order to testify their purity of mind. 

The worship of Dharmaraja is very popular ; it is, per- 
haps, the most widely spread in this country. Over 500 
Dharmaraja temples exist in South- Aroot alone. The 
village goddess is occasionally called Draupadi, and, even 
where she has a name of her own, she is often merely a sub- 
stitute for the wife of the Pandavas. The popularity which 
the latter enjoy among the lower classes of the iahabitants 
throughout India is very significant, inasmuch as it is in 
opposition to Rama, the favorite hero and divine represent- 

™ Compare the meaning of ndgara and ndgaraka, citizen, polite, clever, 
from nagara, town, in Sanskrit ; with iro\iTiK<is from woXis in Greek ; and 
urbauus from urbs in Latin. 



ative among the Brahmans. It is also remarkable that 
Brahmans have nothing to do with these temples. 

Some of the most celebrated remains in India are those 
found at the Seven Pagodas near Madras. Famous among 
these rock temples and rock sculptures of Mdmalkqmram or 
Mdvallipuram are the Rathas or monolithic temples of the 
five Pandavas and of their wife Draupadi. Mamallapuram 
or Mavallipuram stands^ I believe, for Mahdmallapuram or 
Mahdpallipuram, that is, the town of the great Mallas or Pallis, 
both designations being almost identical. And even if 
MahavalUpuram is to be regarded as connected with the name 
of the great king Bali, he himself, as I have previously 
endeavoured to show on pp. 14 and 15, should be looked 
upon as the representative of the Mallas or Pallas, Pallis 
and Pallavas. If we now associate the cult of the Pan- 
- davas with these relies at Mamallapuram and consider that 
the inhabitants of this town, the Mallas, worshipped those 
heroes as do their descendants even to-day, and that the 
Pallis are the pujdris of these deified persons at this moment, 
I believe that a relation has been sufiioiently established 
between the Pandavas and the original inhabitants of this 

" See in the Iiidia-n Antiquary, vol. II, pp. 190 and 191, the article : 
" Walking through Fire," by Mr. H. J. Stokes, M.C.S. " The situation was 
i on an extensive open plain before the village deity Dranpafi Amman' s temple. 
The pit lay east and west ; the image of the goddess was placed at the west 
end, and it was towards it that the worshipper walked along the length of 
the pit from east to west." Virappa Vandyan states : — "I was one of the 
" eight persons who carried the goddess Di'aupafi Amman to the place where 
"the fire-treading took place. The fire-pit was a trench about two poles 
"long by two strides broad. Six babul trees were cut into faggots and 
■" kindled. Those who trod on the fire were Nachchti, Pujari of Periyan- 
" gudi, Chidambaram ; Pujftri of Angalamman temple at Achchutaman- 
*'galam; E.amasami Pillei, Stanika of Draupati Amman of Periyangudi ; 
" Saminada Padeyachi of the same place, his brother Subraya ; Subba- 
" nayakkan of Valkci. . ." Nagappa Malavarayan states : — " I livein the next 
" street to the temple of Draupati." . Nachchu Padeyachi states : — " I am 
" I'ujari of this temple of DraupHii." The practice of fire-treading is 
" connected in some places with a L-gond of Draupadi , . ., the wife of the 


In Chingleput and its neighbourhood the Pallis add to 
their name the title of Ndyakar or leader, which term ia 
synonymous with the Telugu Ndyadu and the Malayalam 
Ndyar. Those in Tanjore and its neighbourhood prefer the 
Tamil title Padaiydcci (usiBi_uj/r<y9),52 army -leader, which has 
the same meaning as Nayakar ; while others in Coimbatore, 
Salem, North and South-Arcot call themselves^ like the 
neighbouring hill men, Kaundar (Oaeiressri^ir or sswessri—ir'). I 
connect this word with the root ko, and derive it from konda, 
mountain, and if this etymology is right, it shows that 
these Pailis have preserved in their name some recollection 
of their original habitat. 

Pandavas.'' — I have mentioned tlie names of the worshippers, in order to 
prove that they are Pallis (Nayakar) and Padaiyaccis. 

Read also " The Village Feast," by Captain J.S.F. Mackenzie in the Indian 
Antiquary, vol. Ill, pp. 6-9, and " Passing through Fire," by Mr. M. J. 
Walhouse, late M.O.S., in the Indian Antiquary, vol. VII., pp. 126-129 : 
" When not done in discharge of vows made in time of sickness or disaster, 
" the fire-walking seemed to be performed (generally in March and June) in 
" most places in honour of Vlrabhadra, the portentous flame-clad progeny 
" of Siva, who is especially feared as presiding over family discord and mis- 
" fortune or else of Dharmaraja, the elder Pandava, to whom there are five 
" hundred temples in South Aikat alone, and with whom and Draupadi the 
" ceremony has some particular association. In Ganjam and Maisur it is per- 
" formed in honour of a village goddess, and everywhere seems connected 
" with aboriginal rites and Siva-worship, Brahmaps always disowning it." 
I myself witnessed this fire-treading in June 1885 in Coimbatore. With 
respect to the sun worship previously mentioned on p. 62 as peculiar to the 
Scythians, it should be remembered that Draupadi prayed twice to the sun 
god for assistance. Concerning the explanation of MahamaUapura I may 
also add that I regard Mallapura as the original form of Mailapur in Madras. 
These names wiU be considered in the last part of this treatise. 

92 The higher castes are often anxious to enhance their superiority at 
the expense of their inferiors, whom they ridicule. To this tendency must 
be ascribed many expressions which reflect on the language used by Pariahs, 
PaUar, PaUis, and Padaiyaccis. The word Padaiyacci is derived itoTapadai 
and" dtci, which originaUy signified Army ruling. Its more correct spelling 
is Padaiyatci, ueniL-iuinLQ. 

The Eev. Mr. Loventhal of Vellore informs me that the hill-people near 
Vellore insist on being addressed as Gaundan and Gaundal, and that they 
feel insulted when called Ayya or Amma. He teUs me also that many 
PaJLlis adopt now the title Mudaliyar. Occasionally the term Kaundur la, 
used by Pulayar and Candalas. 


The few necessaries which in India suffice to sustain life, 
the simplicity of manners, and similarity of external wants 
create a great uniformity in the habits and mode of living 
among the population. In this respect there is less differ- 
ence, perhaps, between the rich and the poor in India than 
elsewhere. The dwelling places are pretty much the same in 
villages as in towns, and architectural ambition displays itself 
mostly in the erection of the temples devoted to the gods, 
or the palaces occupied by the kings. Difference in population 
— irrespective of caste, religion, and occupation — forms, 
therefore, in India the most striking distinction between 
village and town. In these circumstances even speech does 
not, as a rule, distinguish between them, and in the Dravidian 
languages the same expressions palli (pci/li, halli, ^c.) and 
iir (urn, &c.) are applied both to village and town. 

Different meanings of the woiid Palli. 

The word Palli has also various other meanings. In 
towns, and even in small villages, where people congregate in 
greater numbers, such buildings and institutions as temples 
and schools are more easily and more appropriately founded 
than in a lonely and sparsely populated country. These 
establishments are accordingly called after the place in which 
they are erected. The Buddhist and Jain missionaries were 
probably the first preachers and religious teachers who 
devoted themselves to the indigenous population and who 
succeeded in their efforts to win by their sympathy the affec- 
tion of the masses. This may be the reason why a temple, 
more particularly if Buddhistic and Jaina, is called pnlli. 

Everything connected with royalty has the term palli 
prefixed to it in Malayalam as, pallikovilal-am, a royal palace, 
pallimetta, a royal bed, palUvdl, a royal sword, palUvetta, 
a royal chase, &c.^' This expression is very peculiar indeed, 

'' In Tamil the word palli is at timeB also used in the sense of royal, 
thus paUiyarai, like the Malayalam palliyara, denotesthe royal bed-chamher, 


and seems to prove that the reoollection of the splendour and 
power of the ancient Pallas or Pallis had not died out in the 
minds of the people when these words came into use. 

The Buddhist missionaries, who propagated throughout 
India the precepts of their master, spoke and wrote a Pra- 
kritised form of Sanskrit. This became gradually the sacred 
language of the Buddhists, and from India it was, together 
with the Buddhistic faith, introduced into Ceylon. Though 
this idiom differed widely from the language which the 
Dravidian PalLas spoke in those days, in the same way as 
the priestly Latin differed much from the vernaculars of 
Northern Europe into which it spread with the progress of 
Christianity, yet, as the Buddhistic religion came to Ceylon 
from the country inhabited mostly by Pallas, or in whose 
towns and temples — Palli or Pali — it had found a firm 
abode, the dialect in which the sacred books reached Ceylon 
was likewise called Pali after them. 

Explanation of the avords Pandya, Vellala, Ballala, 


The Paljiar and Pallis claim, as has been previously pointed 
out, kinship with the kings who ruled over them, i.e., with 
the Pandyas and Pallavas. It has been proved that a 
philological connection can be established between the words 
Palla, Palli and Pallava, and no great difficulty will be 
experienced in extending it to the name of the Pandyas. 

The Pandyas of Southern India have been linked by 
legends with the Pandavas of the North. According to the 
Harivarnsa (XXXII, 123), Pandya, together with Kerala^ 
Kola, and Cola, was a descendant of the famous king Busyanta, 
the husband of Sakuntala and father of Bharata. Arjuna 
meets and fights in his adventures for the Asvamedha with 

while paiukkaiyarai is the common sleeping room. Compare also atout 
path in the sense of a royal title the Jdtiscmgrahaadra, p. 281. 


his son Babhrnvahana, the king of Manipura, which place I 
have identified with Madura.^'* 

The legend of the king Vijaya of Lanka is likewise 
mysteriously and intimately connected with the Pandavas. 
He is reported to have wedded a daughter of the Pandava 
king of the southern Mathura, and, as he had from her no 
ofEspring, to have invited his nephew from the Indian conti- 
nent to become his successor. This nephew, Pdndiivamiadeva, 
married, in his turn, the princess Bhadrakancana, the daughter 
of Pdndu-Sahja and grand-cousin of Buddha, who had 
drifted in a boat with her 32 lady companions to Lanka 
and arrived providentially just in time to marry the king.'* 

But there exist also other legends which do not mention 
this connection between the Pandavas of the North and the 
Pandyas in the South. Among these is one which ascribes 
the colonisation and civilisation to a northern VeUalan named 
Madura Pdndiyan, who, on his pilgrimage to Eamesvara, 
observed the great fertility of the Dandaha forest and deter- 
mined to settle in it. He returned to his own town, came 
back to the South with his family and dependents, cleared the 
country and erected on the banks of the VaiJcai river his 
capital, which he called after himself Madura. The neigh- 
bouring Maravar assisted him much in the cultivation of 
the country and foundation of his capital. Madura Pdndiyan 
rvded according to this account 50 years after his arrival, 
and died 90 years old. He was succeeded by his son Can- 
drapdndii/an, who reigned 40 years. Malai/adrajapdndiyan 
and Alakapdndiyan are mentioned as the next kings.'^ 

" See my monograph " On the Weapons of the Ancient Hindus," 
pp. 145-152. 

9' See Lassen's Ind. Alterth., vol. II, pp. 95-111. 

'« See "Historical Sketch of the Kingdom of Pandya," hy Horace 
Hayman Wilson, in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of G. B. and I., 
vol. Ill, pp. 199-242, 1836, reprinted in the Madras Journal of Literature 
and Science, vol. VI, pp. 176-216, and H. H. Wilson's Supplementary Note 
in the Madras Journal, vol. VI, pp. 217-220. Compare also Eev. William 
Taylor's Orientnl Historical Mninisci-ipts, Madi'as, 1835, in two volumes ; and 


Though some have proposed to derive the name Pdndya 

his Observations on Professor Wilson's Historical BTcetch in the same volume 
of the Madras Journal, pp. 142-1.57. H. H. Wilson had said in the Royal 
Asiatic Society's Journal, vol. Ill, p. 201, and in the Madras Journal, 
vol. YI, p. 177, that "an adventurer, named Pandya, of the Velalar or 
' ' agricultural trihe, first estahlishod himself in that portion of the south to 
"which his name was afterwards assigned." See also Wilson's Mackenzie 
Collections, Introduction, p. 46, and Tamul Books, p. 203 (new edition). 

The Rev. W. Taylor took exception to these statements in his Oriental 
Historical Manuscripts, vol. II, pp. 73, 74, and its Appendix, pp. 35 and 
39, and animadverted on Wilson's want of acquaintance with the Tamil 
language (p. 63), to which charges Wilson replied in his Supplementary 
Note. The Rev. W. Taylor admitted the error of indulging in strong 
language, hut maintained (on p. 144) that: " Vada desattilulla pandiyan- 
" dkira velldzhan might have heen still better and more accurately rendered 
"an ancient agriculturist in (or of) the north country," and(onp. 149) that 
"there is, however, throughout no mention of this person's proper name." 
In hoth these statements Taylor is not quite correct. Akira means here 
" called," for in the same manuscript occur repeatedly such phrases as 
Irdmandkirairdcd, the king called Bama, or SUaiydkira pencdti, the wife 
caUed Sita. 

The Tamil manuscript in question is the Pdntiyamantalam Colamantalam 
'purmkardjdearitravolunku in the Government Oriental Manuscript Library 
No. 241, in Wilson's Mackenzie Collections, Tamil Local History No. 4, and 
in W. Taylor's Catalogue Haisonne, vol. Ill, p. 88, No. 2322. On p. 4a the 
pdndiyan is first mentioned as follows : ^uuisf-Quj <5iiL^Qfi<g=^^^jtsn'(Sir 
uiTeSsriSf-iu^SiD QeuefretrrreirssFl^^ jrirQLDSfjnijrr^^esjfriS^LjLfroLJ 
ulL(B eue^rreir (Appatiye vatateoattil uUa Pantiyan akira Tellajan inta 
Ramecurayattiraikku purappattu vantan) . The translation of which sentence 
is : " Thus having started came on a pilgrimage to EamfiSvara a VeUalan 
named Pandiya, who lived in the northern country." Again on p. 5 h : 
®uuis- .... ujjr<feisr uirsisns^ujsir Qufr LD^irpfrius utrassruLujar 
.S/isusir (Lps^smQ uessremsflstsr uiL^ensr^^sfg^^asr Quearr is ^ir 
Qesr eaeus;^ LD^jnrL\ifl Qtusk^ih Las"^iTJEsG)!ra!r^ih QuifluLQ 
iSesr,^ ldGjssu ULLi^amrmsiisinjLKyyem-Q uessraSi^air (Ippati . . 
yaracan Pan^iyan per Maturanayaka Pantiyan avan mutal untu pannina 
pattanattukku tan pgrai tanS vaittu Maturapuri yenrum Maturainakarenrijm 
perittu pinnum anekappattanaiikalaiyum untu panninan); or in English: 
Thus this Pandiya king, called Maturapandiyan, having given to the town he 
founded first his own name, and having named it Maturapuri or Maturainagar, 
established afterwards many towns. ' ' The f oimder of the Cola kingdom, Tdya- 
man Nalli, is also called a VeUalan, see p. 6 b. Compare Lassen's Indische 
Alterth" vol. II, p. 108. Mr. J. H. Nelson remarks in his Manual of 
Madura Part III, p. 44 : "The story of the man of Oude may doubtless 
be found in certain Hindu writings, but I do not believe it is traditional in 
the country to which it relates. And the Pandya kings of the lunar race 
are commonly believed to be of the Kshatriya, not of the Vellala or any 


directly from Pandu and some have ventiired other explana- 
tions, I bolieve that none are generally accepted as correct,'" 
I do not flatter myself that I have solved the difficulty, 
but merely hazard a new conjecture. I suggest that the word 
Pandi (uiremts/.), which is specially applied to the ancient 
kingdom of Madura, and the term Pdndii/an (u.Tisjisr 19-10 sir), 
which denotes the king who ruled over it, the Pandion, 
UavSlcov of Ptolemy, YII, 1, 11, are contracted forms for 
Palldndi and Palldndiyan. The king of Madura, the Peru- 
mal of the Pandiyas, was regarded as the most powerful 
king of Southern India, and as such he might well have been 
named after the people over whom he ruled. The word 
Palldndiyan, the king of the Pallas, was contracted into 
Pandiyan as Tiruvallankodu has become Tiruvdnkodu, &c.'' 
Andi {^s^i^) and dndaran (^izm-L^euesr), ruler, come from 

agricultural caste." Compare also Part II, p. 31. Already the Rev. W. 
Taylor has pointed out that Oude is not mentioned as Pindya's, hut only as 
Kama' 8 home. Whatever is the right extraction of the Vellalar, they as well 
as their Telugu relatives, the Velamas, regard themselves as Ksatriyas. The 
Eev. J. F. Keams in The Tribes of South India, Madras, 1860, alludes to the 
tradition that the Eeddies of Tinnevelly derive their origin from Oude, for he 
Bays on p. 8 : " There is, however, a circumstance connected with the Reddiea 
■which in some degree appears to impart an air of prohability at least to 
the legend, namely, all the Roddies in the province style themselves Oude 
Eeddies, and assert that Oude is the native country of their tribe." 

" Compare Lassen's Ijid. Alterth., vol. II, p. 102, and Bishop Caldwell's 
Introduction to his Comparative Dravidian Grammar, p. 16 : " The Sanskrit 
Pandya is written in Tamil Pftndiya, but the more completely TamiUsed 
form Pandi is still more commonly used all over Southern India. I derive 
Fundi not from the Tamil and MalaySlam pandu, ancient, though that is 
a very tempting derivation, but— as native scholars always derive the word— 
from the Sanskrit Fdndu, the name of the father of the Pandava brothers. 
This very form Pdndya, in the sense of a descendant of Pandu, is mentioned, 
as I am informed by Professor Max MiiUer, by Katyayana, the immediate 
successor of Panini." 

'8 Compare A History of Travanoore, by P. Shungoonny Menon, p. 2 : 
" Thiruvancode instead of Sreevalumcode." Tiruviddnkodu is a wrong 

Not far from TiruvaUafikodu lies Vallavankodu, both localities being inti- 
mately connected with each other in the history of Travancore. I have also 
strong reasons to suppose that the name of Tirurangddu near Tellicherry is 
the same as that of TIrnralangadu near Calicut. Both places have celebrated 
temples. That of the latter belongs to the Zamorin. I regard the usual 


the Dravidian root al, to rule. If we admit that names in 
common use are more subject to change than other words, 
the alteration from dndavan to dndiijun can he easily accounted 
for. Yet even this modification is not absolutely necessary, 
as dndiyan can also be formed by adding the pronomiaal 
affix an to dndi?'^ 

The root al is also used in the formation of other similar 
words, e.^., in VallaU [Velldla), Ballala, BhiUdla, &c., and 
indicates a person of iufluenee among or a lord of the Vallas, 
BallaSj and Bhillas, which names were originally identical 
with the name of the Pallas. 

The Vellalan is thus the territorial lord of the despised 
Pallan, and though both were originally intimately connected 
with each other, the institution of caste seems to have parted 
them for good. The relation of the PaljLan to the Vellalan 
was that of serf to the owner of the soil, like what existed 
in Russia, where both, serf and master, belong to the same 
nation. The abbreviated form of Vellalan is Vellal. It is 
dialectically changed in Kanarese into Belial and is applied 
to the landowning agriculturist of Kanara. The Toda words 
Pdlal, the milkman or priest, and Kdvildl, herdsman, are 
similarly formed. Vellalan is also contracted into Vellan. 

derivation of vala in Tiruvalangadu from the Sanskrit word valaya, bracelet, 
and the legend connected with this valaya as a later invention. 

Some time ago advised by a friend I visited Gudumnceri, a small station 
on the South-Indian Railway, between Pallavaram and Chingleput, in 
search of some old tombs. Nobody in Gudnvanceri was acquainted with 
these remains. I found them on the slope of a hill near the hamlet 
Yallaneeri, whence the old now deserted village Pallaiiceri was pointed out 
to me. I was further told that Guduvanceri was formerly called Putuvano§ri 
or New Vanceri. In this case Vanceri should be regarded as a contraction 
of Vallanceri. 

Sir" A. Cunningham identifies in vol. IX, p. 56 of the Arch. Sun. of 
.Tndia, Bdndogarh, with the Balantipurgmi of Ptolemy ; and this derivation is 
repeated in vol. XXI, p. 92 : " Mr. CarUeyle also suggests that Ptolemy's 
" fort of Balantipurgon, which I have identified with Bando-garh, may have 
"derived its name from the Balands." 

99 See note 16 about Subrahmaiiya being called Palani Andi or Pakmi 



As the Vellalar are essentially agriculturists and live upon 
the produce which they derive from cultivation, agriculture 
is called in Tamil and in Malayalam velldnmai or velldyma. 
The Tamil word Vcljanmai is a compound of Vellal and 
mai, the affix indicating abstract nouns. It means Vellalan- 
ship or the occupation and position of a Vellalan or culti- 
vator. It may perhaps be necessary to add that the terms 
VcHdlaii and Velldnma are hardly ever used in Malabar, 
except in Palghat, which, as a border district between the 
Tamil and Malayalam speaking population, contaias many 
Tamil words. It is customary to derive the name of the 
Vellalan from telldnmai, i.e., the name of the cultivator from 
the work of cultivation to which he is devoted, but I regard 
this explanation as erroneous. The Telugu representative 
of the Tamil VelMlan is tlio Viktuia (Vellama), and if rel- 
Idnmni, agriculture, were derived from a cor tic j. Dra vidian 
root, a representative of this word should be found in all or 
most Dravidian languages. It is most probably not indi- 
genous in Malayalam, nor does it exist in Telugu, where we 
find words like hdpu denote a cultivator and sagu cultivation. 
The Velaiua is the baron, the grand-seicjneur, in the Telugu 
country. Most of the Telugu Eajas belong to the Velama 
caste. The identity of Velama and Pallava has been already 
established by me. The Vellalar of Malabar are called 
Ndi/ar, which word means, as we have seen, ruler. This 
circumstance is very significant, as the term Vellalan, 
according to my explanation, designates also a ruler.i"" 

•™ The derivation of Vellnnmni is v.n-y uncertain. The Tamil pandits 
propose different explanations, a sure indication of their uncertainty. Some 
derive the word from t'?7, benefit, and wish to write it accordingly Veldn- 
mai ; others prefer Vellam, abundance, iV'C. The VejULalar are cultivators. 
Cultivation is in India generally divided into dry cultivation, which is 
applied in higher levels and in places Avliich depend entirely on the rain- 
fall, and into wet cultivation, which is carriid on by means of irrigation 
chiefly from tanks. These two kinds of cultivation are called in Tamil 
jnmrnj (or p-uncai) and nnneey (/BeirO,g=iu or ?ianeey), in Telugu metta and 
palla/if irOTn pfjflfim, -plAin, and in Kanarese beita and halla. Ful and ?m^ 
mean bad and good ; pHHcnj is a sterile field for dry grains and HfiHeeij a 


The name of the Ballalas is well known by the dynasty 
which brought it into prominence, and to which I have 
alluded previously. 

rice field. The Telugu and Kanarese expressions denote high, land and low 
land. The high land for want of irrigation produces generally poorer crops 
than the well-irrigated low land. Vellam in Tamil, VeUma in Telugu, and 
Bolla in Talu denote as in the other Dravidianlanguages^/fooatand inundation. 
No inundation can he without water, and in Malaj'alam Vellam seems to 
mean also water, hut this appears not to he the case in Tamil and Telugu. 
Mr. Nelson has in his lahorious Manual of Madura first proposed to derive 
VeUanmai from veUam and dnmai. He says in Part II, p. 31 : " The Tamil 
"mode of spelling the word Vellalan is Qeuerrenrretretsr ; and as Veils nmei, 
"OsuErrsrr/T'srareroLD, is the word commonlj' used to express the act of 
" cultivating (strictly, ruling or managing irrigation), it is hut natural to 
" infer that Vellalan means a cultivator or irrigator of rice fields, rather 
"than a man of a particular trihe or country." This derivation has heen 
accepted hy some authors, generally without giving Mr. Nelson ccdit for 
it ; but it is not known to the Tamil pandits whom I have consulted, and is- 
repudiated by them. Dr. Gundert, who gives in his Malaydlam and English 
Dictionary water as a meaning of rellam, does not connect it with the word 
velldnmai which he places under vellan, a true man. Velldnmai is also in 
Dr. Winslow's Tamil and JSnglish Dictionary not derived from " veUam a,n 
inundation, a flood, a deluge, a strong current." It cannot be denied that 
it is grammatically possible to derive velldnmai from veUam and dnmai, but 
as veUdnmai in this sense denotes only wet cultivation or irrigation, and 
the VejLlalau, as every agriculturist uses both dry and wet cultivation, 
this name" would be inappropriate if applied to him. Curiously enough 
dry cultivation prevails, if I am not wrongly informed, in the wet districts 
on the West Coast of South India where, owing to the heaviness of the rain, 
no tank irrigation is necessary. The derivation from PaUan and dlan as 
the master of the Pajftar or agricultural labourers seems simpler and 
more preferable. My conjecture is supported by the Tamil and Malayalam 
term Velldtti, a slave girl, a female servant. The meaning of this expression 
has not been explained so far as my knowledge goes, but is clear, if it is con- 
sidered to denote a Palla woman, a woman of the servile class (LJS»reir + 
i^j. N In this particular instance dfti signifies woman in general, as 
dl does also occasionally mean servant or slave. Jtti occurs in a similar, 
thouo-h more respectable, sense in manaiydtti, housewife, and pentaffh 
wife" The feminine of VcUdlan is Velldlacci. The truth of the saying 
Usus tyrannus manifests itself peculiarly in this case. I may add that 
even my derivation of VeUanmai contains the word dpmai as formed from 

" The Purana of Tiruhaluhmram near Chingleput, also known as Pakn- 
tlrtkam, mentions 24 clashes of Vellalar. They ^^^S^^'^fW^"^^'^, .^^ 
three great sections in Gangakulatar, Indrakulatar, and Ma^kulatar. the 
63 Alvar 13 are VeUalar. Mr. Nelson has in his Manual, II, pp. 27-37 
coUected a great deal of information about them. Compare also " Notes 


The Bhillalas are the chiefs among the Bhillas or Bhils, 
some of whom are regarded as the offspring of Eajput men 
and Bhil women.^^i 

The similar formation of all these words tends much to 
prove the correctness of my conjecture, and as according to 
my explanation the meaning of Pdndiijnn as Palldndiyan is 
identical with that of Velldlan, the legend which assigns 
to the Velldlan, who founded the celebrated kingdom of 
Madura in Southern India, the name of Pdndiyan or of ruler 
of the Pallas, may be considered as by no means irrelevant 
evidence in support of my theory. 

on Castes in Southern India," by Mr. J. A. Boyle, in the Indian Anti- 
quary, vol. Ill (1874), pp. 287-289. 

As Falemu is identical with Velamu, baronial village, so is Velama 
originally synonymous with Palegadu. About the Vellamas compare fiev. 
John Cain's article in the Indian Antiquary, vol. VIII, p. 216. 

"" Compare also Indian Antiquary, vol. Ill, p. 208, and IV, pp. 338 
and 339. 




Philological Eemaeks. 

Having in the first part of my work treated of the Dravi- 
dians, I have now to deal with the other aboriginal tribes 
of India, whom I have classed together under the name of 
Gaudian. As already intimated, I derive the term Gavdian 
from the root ko, mountain. 

This word ko or ku is of the old Turanian stock. It is 
still extant in the Tamil G^/r, ko, mountain, and can be easily 
recognized in many expressions found in Telugu, Gondi, and 
other kindred dialects. Among words which perhaps are 
related to it is the Persian »^ {koh, kuh,) or a^ {koh, kuh) 
mountain; for Persian, I would remark, contains a con- 
siderable number of Turanian words which have their re- 
presentatives in the Gauda-Dravidian dialects of India. 
The Sanskrit word go has many difEerent meanings, most of 
which are also expressed by its Tamil tatsamam ko; but go in 
Sanskrit does not, so far as my knowledge goes, signify 
moimtain, while, as already indicated, ko occurs in Tamil in 
the sense of mountain. As the root ko can be traced in other 
Gauda-Dravidian dialects as synonymous with mountain, it 
is pretty clear that the Tamil ko, mountain, is a separate 
word not identical with the term ko, denoting cow, &c. ; and 
that it is not of Sanskrit but of Gauda-Dravidian origin.^ 

1 About the derivation of Gaudian from io, see p. 13. Tatsamam is a 
word introduced from Sanskrit into an Indian vernacular with little or no 


The word ko is found in Koi, Koya, Koyi and ESdu, &c., which mean in 
Telugu and Gondi a mountaineer or Gonii ; also in Kona, mountain-glen, or 



The Gauda-Dravidian numerical roots o(r) one, and mu, 
three, are found in Tamil as onru [oru and onmi) and munrtc, 
in Malayalam as onnu and munnu, in Telugu as ondu and 
mudu, in Kanarese as ondii and muru, in Tulu as onji and 
muji, in Madi as undi (wandi) and mundu, in Gondi as undi 
and munu (mund), iu Kurgi as ondu and mundu. In a 
similar manner the root ko (Jcu), mountain, has developed in 
Tamil into hunru, kunram, and kdndam, in Malayalam into 
kunnu, kunnam, and kuru, in Telugu into konda, gundu and 
gutta, in Kanarese into gudda, in other dialects into kundu, &c- 
The tribal names Koracaru and Koravaru, mountaineers, 
permit the assumption of a root l:ora? The fact that liugual 
and dental letters are promiscuously used in these formations, 
is rather peculiar. Lingual and dental affixes must have been 
indiscriminately employed in Dravidian languages for the 
construction of words ; thus ondu signifies one (and ojiti, single) 

dale. The term liu is preferred by the Khonds, for Colonel John Camphell 
states on p. 13 in his Personal Narrative of Service among the Wild Tribes of 
£hondistan: "The hill districts of Orissa . . are peopled generally by 
Khonds, or Xui, as they call themselves." — The name of the Koyana, one 
of the seven rivers which flow from the MahabalS^vara mountain, is " derived 
either from Kuvena,or from Koh, a primitive term signifying a mountain." 
See Bombay Asiatic Journal, vol. IX, p. 253. With respect to the New- 
Persian and Parsi koh, mountain, I should mention that /caufa, mountain, 
occurs in the cuneiform inscriptions of the Persian Mng Darius at the 
Behistun. In Huzvaresh mountain is kuph. Yet it is not impossible that 
in spite of this fact, the word ko (ku) may also in this case be originally 

Only where Tamil letters actually occur, they are transcribed according 
to the principle contained in note 1 on p. 3. 

' Eev. Dr. Gundert in his Malayalam and English Dictionary presupposes a 
root 0. Bishop Caldwell while advocating in his Comparative Grammar of 
the Dravidian languages on pp. 217-223, the assumption of a basis or, writes 
on p. 220 : " Dr. Gundert considers ondru an euphonised form of on, with 
the addition of du, the neuter formative, and that on and or are equivalents, 
being both verbal nouns from o, to be one. It is quite true that such a verb 
as exists, that n or an, alternating with am, is used as a formative by many 
nouns, and that n sometimes changes into or alternates with r or r." And 
on p. 222 : " There is a verbal root in Tamil o, which has been supposed to 
mean, to be one. On and or (ondru and oru) are supposed by Dr. Gundert to 
be verbal nouns from this v. An undoubted derivative of o in Tamil and 
Malayalam is okka, which in Malayalam and the Tamil of the extreme south 
means ' altogether,' ' all ' (compare Mordvin wok, all) ; and this is supposed 


in Kanarese corresponding to the Telugu ondu, and in Telugu 
Kodu and Gondu mean a Khond, while their equivalents in 
Sanskrit are Konda and Gonda, to which corresponds the 
Telugu Kondarudu} 

The addition of these lingual and dental aiExes with or 
without a nasal, is a peculiarity of the Gauda-Dra vidian 
languages.* The change of k into the other gutturals kh, g, 
and gh, or perhaps more properly the interchange between 
them, need hardly be mentioned, beiug of such frequent 
occurrence ; nor is it necessary to draw attention to the 
resemblance in the pronunciation of the vowels a, u and o, 
and to their being promiscuously used the one for the other, 
e.g., in Kudaku and Kodaku, the name of the province Kurg, 
in Kuravanji or Koravahji, a common expression for a female 

The names of most of the Graudian races are formed 
from the above-given variations of ko, a circumstance which 
explains the very considerable differences occasionally 

by Dr. Grundert to be identical witb the Telugu oka, one. Every step in this 
process, with one exception, is encumbered with, difficulties." The question 
is still very doubtful, and can be hardly ever settled. Bishop Caldwell himself 
admits on p. 220 that : " or, in its primitive, unuasalised shape, is not now 
found in the cultivated Dravidian dialects as the first abstract neuter noun 
of number for one or unity." The Rev. P. Kittel seems to agree with the 
Bishop as he writes in his " Notes concerning the Numerals of the Ancient 
Dravidians " in the Indian Ardiqnary, vol. II, p. 24 : "1, ondu, onru (pro- 
nounce : ondu), onji, or, or, om,-on, ondu, ottu, to be undivided, to be one. 
A unit without a branch." * * " When the affix rf« is joined to a short 
monosyllabic root with final r, the root in this case being or, this liquid is 
sometimes changed into the Bindu. Observe du has become ji (in Tulu)." 

3 Kodu, steep, Icodu, peak, and similar words belong to this group. 
Ku and go denote in Sanskrit earth, hence kuklla, moimtain (a peg or pin 
of the earth) . Whether any connection exists between the Sanskrit kuta, 
mountain, fort ; kuttdra and kuttira, mountain ; kuta, mountainpeak ; kofa, 
fort ; and koti, end, &c., and some Gauda-Dravidian words of similar sound 
and same meaning, is now very difficult to decide. Except kuta, which 
occurs already in the Egveda, none of these Sanskrit terms are found in 
verj^ ancient works. 

* It is thus conspicuous in the formation of some irregular plurals in 

' See p. 84. 


noiicsable in their outward appearance. People resort in 
private life to a variety of names in order to facilitate 
distinction between kindred individuals, families and clans. 
The same name is often borne by various tribes "who, though 
originally akin to one another, dwell separately in distant 
places of the larga Indian continent. Some tribal terms 
originally unobjectionable have had attributed to them in 
course of time a disparaging meaning, — such terms, for 
instance, as Pariah and Ganddla. Yet, neither individuals 
nor races should be despised simply for the name they bear, 
particularly, if it is uncertain whether any stigma can be 
attached to them on that account. This caution should be 
strictly observed, especially as identical terms have often 
different significations in the various districts and separate 
communities of so vast a country as India. 

Application op the teem Gaudian. 

I am aware that it is impossible to b© too cautious in 
drawing up such lists as the following, the more so if they 
are the first of their kind ; but one must guard as much 
against mistakes of omission as of commission. It is 
preferable, I believe, in a research like this, to make at first 
comprehensive statements, and to leave to the competent 
critic the task of pruning them. 

I regard under these circumstances the following tribes 
and races as belonging to the Gaudian division r — the Koi 
(Kui, Ku, Koital, Koya, Koyi), Kodu and Gondu or Konda 
(Khonda, Kunda, Kavunda, Gauda, Gonda, and Gaunda) 
or Kanda (Khanda, Kandara, Cauda, and Candala), Toda, 
Kota, Kodaga, Koraga, Kola (Cola), Koli, Kulu, Koracaru 
(Korcaru, Korsaru, Kuruoiyar, Gurcari), Korava (Korama), 
Kuruva (Kuru, Yerakala, Kuruma, Kurumba, Kurmi), 
Kunnuva, &o. 

The following Sanskrit names can, I believe, be con- 
nected with the Gaudians, though it may be difficult actually 


to prove such a connection always. Tribal names such 
as : — Gauda, Gaudaka, Gonda, Kandola, Khanda, Candala, 
Kontala, Kundala, Kuntala, Kunlhaka, Kunti, Kuntika, 
Kurata, Konvasira, Kola, Kolvagireya, Cola (Coda), &c. The 
following names of men : Kunda, Kundika, Kundina, Kola, 
Cola, &c. ; of women: Kundala, Kunti, &c. ; of countries: 
Gauda, Khandava, Kunti, &c. ; of mountains : Kunda, 
Kundoda, Kuranga, Konva, Kolagiri (KoUagiri), Kolahala, 
&c. ; of streams : Kundala, &c. ; of forests : Gondavana 
(Gondavara), Khandava, &o. ; of plants : Kunda (or Malli, 
jasmine), Kundali (mountain ebony) ; and of towns : Gauda 
(Gonda), Gaura, Khandavaprastha, Kundaprastha, Kun- 
dagni, Kundina(pura), &,c.^ 

Ptolemy mentions among Indian trihes the Gonds as Kan- 
daloi (VII, 1,66).' Strabo speaks of the country Gandaris 
or Gandarltis* in the north-west of India, while Ptolemy 
distinguishes (YI, 12, 4) between the Kandaroi in Sogdiana 

° Koi-jdti is a term generally given to the Koi tribe. In the July number, 
1837, of the Madras Journal of Literature and Science, the Kev. William 
Taylor remarks as follows on page 17 - "In the title to Mr. Stevenson's 
paper on their customs, they (the Khoonds) are styled S^cSitu Codulu and in 
Dr. Maxwell's Hst Khoi-jdti." 

It is perhaps not quite out of place to mention among the tribal names 
also the Gandhdra, Gdndhdra or Gandhdri, who appear in the Behistiln 
inscription among the subjects of Darius Hystaspes as Ganddra. If this is 
the case, the name of the Queen Gdndhdrl would find a place among the 
female names connected with the Gaudians. Some connect the name of 
Kandahar with the Gandharas, while others derive the name of the town 
Kandahar from Alexander the Great. 

I omit to include above in the text the names of the other sons of 
Dhrtarastra : Kundabhedin, Kundadhara, Kun^aka, KundaSayin and 

' See p. 82, n. 70. — Christian Lassen used the edition of B. G. 'Willberg 
and wrote in vol.1, p. 113 (88), No. 2: " Ich lese mit "WiUberg Gondaloi 
statt Kondaloi." I used C. F. A. Nobbe's edition, which contains on p. 
165 ViivSaKoi. 

8 See Strabonos Geographika recensuit G. Kramer, Berolini, 1852, lib, 
XV, 1, 26 (Casaubonus, p. 697) : The Choaspea (Attock) runs into the 
KOphes (Cabul) near the town Plemyrion, after passing by Gorys, another 
city and going through BandobSnS and Gandarltis ; and XV, 1, 30 (Casau- 
bonus, p. 699) : Some caU Gandaris the country subject to him (the 
nephew of Porus). 


(VI, 12, 4) and the Gandarai (VIT, 1, 44) between the 
Suastos and Indos.^ The same geographer names also the 
Korankaloi (VII, 2, 15), who lived probably near the river 
Grandaki, which Pliniua calls Condoohates in his Natural 
History. Omitting a number of places, which may perhaps 
refer to the Gaudian population and are mentioned in the 
work of Ptolemy, I only draw attention to Kandipatna 
(VII, 1, 92), Kondota (VII, 1, 14), Konta (VII, 1, 51), 
Kontakossyla emporion (VII, 1, 15), Koreur (VII, 1, 86), 
Korindiur (VII, 1, 89), Korunkala (VII, 1, 93), and 
Korygaza (VII, 2, 14). i» 

Explanation or the use of-Gauda (Gaudian) 
AS A Tribal Name. 

The term Gauda (Gaudian) is now generally regarded as 
appropriate to North India, whUe Dravida is connected with 
South India. Neither term is used in its widest sense, for 
this division, though right in a general way, ignores the fact 
that many Gaudian elements are found in the south, while 
the north contains numerous Dra vidian constituents. In fact 
both branches of the kindred stock exist side by side through- 
out the land. With this restriction, the use of both terms 
may be admitted. 

The word Gauda is a derivative of the root M, mountain, 
and its equivalents are Goda and Gonda.^^ The substitution 
of r and / for d gives Gaura and Gaula, which five forms 

' Ptol. VI, 12, 4. " Elra Tapc^ ri SoySm Spi; '0|uSp57/cai koL hpvfiilcnu, KaX 
Kcii'Sapoi," and VII, 1, 44 : MeTo^u ^\ toE 2ouci[rTOu Kol toC 'IcSoB Vavidfiai." 

'o See C. Plinii Secundi Naturalis historice, lib. VI, 22 : " Ex iis naviga- 
biles, praeter iam diotos, Condochatem, Eranoboam, Gosoagum, Sonum." I 
have not included the Gandakl among the rivers, as its name is generally 
derived from gandaka, rhinoceros, which are said to be found in it. I regard 
this etymology as doubtful. 

'1 See General Sir Alexander Cunningham's Archaological Survey of 
India, vol. I, pp. 327, 328 ; " In Uttara Kosala they (the districts) are Gauda. 
(vulgarly Gonda) to the south of the Rapti, and Kosala to the north of the 
Eapti. . These apparent discrepancies are satisfactorily explained when we 
learn that Gauda, is only a sub-division of Uttara Kosala, and that the ruins 


occur simultaneously. There is no reason for supposing that 
Q-auda is an antiquated Sanskrit formation ; it was origi- 
nally not Sanskrit at all, though it was received in course 
of time into the Sanskrit vocabulary. So far from being 
antiquated, it is still used in popular language. The modem 
Gaudas have formed themselves into a separate clan, the 
greater part of which dwells at present in Southern India. 
The chief of a village, even when the principal villagers do 
not belong to the Gauda caste, is in Mysore and its neigh- 
bouring districts now generally called the Gaudan. It must 
not, however, be overlooked that in spite of this fact the 
term Gauda has a tribal meaning and was probably given 
to the headman of a village community in consequence of the 
honorable position the Gaudas occupied in the estimation 
of the population. According to the last Census report 
259,110 Gaudas live in Mysore alone, and 4,387 in the 

of Sravasti liave actually been discovered in the district of Gauda, which is 
the Gonda of the maps. The extent of Gauda is also proved hy the old name 
of Balrampur on the Rapti, which was formeriy Rdmgarh Oauda." 

Compare also vol. XXI, p. 13 : " Gonda (or Godu) is a large flourishing 
village ..13 mUes from Karwi. . . To the east of the village, . there is a pair 
of old temples., known asChandeli Mandar, or the ' Chandeli temples,' as aU 
the old buildings are designated throughout Bundelkhand." See further, 
vol. IX, p. 151 : " The name of Gond is simply a corruption of Gauda. 
In the northern Gauda, or Uttara Kosala, the chief town is still named 
Oauda,wh.ich. the lluhammadans before us corrupted to Gonda. On the finger- 
posts leading to the place, the Nagari lU^" Gauda and the English Gonda are 
placed side by side. I spent several mouths in the Central Provinces, and 
I never once heard the aborigines called Gond, but always Gor. Now, as 
Gauda is a pure Sanskrit word, it would seem that this was not their true 
name and that it must have been derived from the country in which they 
dwelt. This appears the more probable when we learn that they do not call 
themselves either Gond or Gor, but Ko'itur. It is also strongly confirmed by 
the fact that there are no Gonds in the northern Gauda, or Uttara Kosala, and 
none in the eastern Gauda or western Bengal . . My explanation of Gauda 
as a geographical term, which gave its name to the Gond people, instead of 
having received it from them, is still confirmed by the fact that numerous 
temples which are said to have been built by the Gonds, were certainly not 
erected by them." Sir A. Cunningham overlooks that Koitur, the name 
which the Gonds give to themselves, is in reality identical with Gond, 
see p. H5. 


Bombay Presidency. I am well aware of the fact that the 
term Gauda has often been derived from the Sanskrit gd, 
cow ; but this I take to be a wrong derivation.''' 

The name is found in fact all over India. That the terms 
Qtiuda and Gonda are synonymous is proved by the fact that 
the well-known district and its capital in Oudh are known 
both as Gonda and Gauda. True, the term Gond signifies 
now only a section of the Gaudian population, but this 
affects neither its etymology nor the point at issue. On the 
contrary the common origin of both terms explains why one 
can be used for the other, or both for one and the same place 
or individual. 

It is a curious coincidence that the national division of 
the Indian population into Gaudians and Dravidians was 

'- There are altogetKer 263,497 Gaudas and 161,353 Gaudes in India. 
About the Gaudas see Dr. Francis Buchanan's Journey jrom Madras through 
the countries of Mysore, Canara and Malabar, second edition, vol. I, pp. 187, 
207, 208, 274, 338, 340, 367, 395 and 396. On p. 187 he remarks: "The 
Gauda, called corruptly Gaur, and in the Mussulman language the Potail, 
is the chief Ryut, or farmer, in the -viUage, and receives the whole dues of 
government. . The office of Gauda was originally hereditary ; but now these 
persons are appointed by the Amildar, and continue in place so long as they 
keep up the collections to their supposed value, or until some other man un- 
dertakes, by bringing a greater number of farmers, to make the revenue more 
productive. The Gauda settles all disputes, in the same manner as here- 
ditary chiefs of casts do." On pp. 207, 208, stands: "The Gaudas here 
(in Colar) rent the vUlages, and every year make a new settlement with the 
Amildar ; while they receive authority to take from the cultivators as much 
as they legally can. Some Gaudas rent two or three Gramas, or villages ; but 
to each there is an hereditary Gauda, who receives the title." See p. 338 : 
" In all this part (Belluru) of the country it has been customary, when a 
new village was founded, for the person appointed to be hereditary Gauda, 
or chief, to place a large stone in or near the village. This stone is called 
the Curuvu CaUu, or calf-stone, and is considered as representing the Grama 
Devaru, or god of the village. The hereditary Gauda always officiates 
as Fujari or priest ; and at the annual village feast, after having rubbed it 
with oil, offers a sacrifice, with which he feasts his relations and the chief 
men of the place." On p. 274 we read: "The proper Curubas have 
hereditary chiefs, who are called Gaudas, whether they be head-men of 
villages or not, and possess the usual jurisdiction." See also p. 380. The 
title Gaudan is esteemed in Mysore. About the name Kawndar, see p. 99, 
As Gauda so has Gauli been derived from go, cow, compare p. 141. About 
Gaula see Mysore Inscriptions of L. Rice, pp. 20, 45, &c. 


adopted by the Aryan Brahmans after they had settled 
in Bharatavarsa, and like the Graudians and Dravidians, 
the Gauda-Brahmans are mainly settled in the north, while 
the Dravida-Brahmans preponderate in the south. I have 
already alluded to this classification on pp. 21 and 22. 

The five divisions of the Qauda-Brahmans are, as pre- 
viously mentioned, named respectively after the Sarasvati- 
river, Kanyakubja (the modern Kanauj), Grauda, Utkala 
now known as Orissa, and Mithila. 

When applied to Brahmans, many explain the term 
Gauda as describing those who lived near the celebrated 
ancient town of Gauda or Gaura, the ruins of which still 
excite the admiration of those who visit them. Others 
take Gauda as the kingdom of which Gaur was the capital.i^ 
It appears somewhat improbable that the Brahmans, who 
came originally from the West, should have chosen for them- 
selves a name from a locality so far remote in the East. 
This supposition becomes even less likely if one considers 

" Instead of Kamata KaSmIra is mentioned in the Jdtimald. 

See H. T. Coletrooke's Enumeration of Indian Classes in his miscellaneous 
Essays, vol. II (1873), p. 169 : " In Jamhu-dwipa, Brihmanas are reckoned 
tenfold ; S^aswata, Kinyakubja, Gauda, Maithila, Utkala, Dr&vida, MahS,- 
r&shtra, Gujjara, and KASmira, residing in the several countries whence 
they are named." 

Head Arehaological Survey of India, vol. XV, p. 39; " The great city, 
of Gauda or Gaur, the capital of Balal Sen and his descendants . . is not 
mentioned at aU by Hwen Thsang . . (p. 40) The name of the province 
in which Lakhnauti or Gaur was situated was Barbanda or Baranda. At the 
same time we know that the Gaudas were a tribe, and that the Pala Rajas 
took the title of Oauresvara, It seems certain therefore that the western 
part of the province at least must have been ealled Gauda or Gaur . 
(p. 41) The name of Gauda or Gaur is, I believe, derived from Guda or Gur, 
the common name of molasses, or raw sugar, for which this province has 
always been famous. In former days when the Ganges flowed past the 
city, Gaur was the great mart where all the sugar of the northern districts 
was collected for exportation." 

This derivation of Gaur is also mentioned and recommended by others, but 
it is still doubtful. Gaur or Lakhnauti Ues in lat. 24° 52' N., long. 88° 10' 
E., in theMaldah district of Bengal. 



that some of the principal Gaudian sub-divisions are named 
after such western districts, as Kanyakubja, or the country- 
watered by the sacred Sarasvati which loses itself in the 
deserts north of Eajputana." Some scholars even state that 
the Brahmans known as G-auda-Brahmans are not Bengalis, 
but inhabitants of Hindustan proper, who according to their 
own legends left Kanyakubja and emigrated to the East in 
the time of the Paadavas." 

According to this tradition, the Kanyakubja Brahmans 
migrated to the Eastern Grauda at an early period, but 
the question when the division into Grauda and Dravida 
Brahmans took place, remains unanswered. Nor are we 
better able to decide the reason of this peculiar separation. 
The most probable explanation may be that the Brahmans 
simply adopted the division which they found existing among 
the original inhabitants in the midst of whom they settled. 
In that case we have no means of assigning an historical 
date to this event. If, as I suppose, the Grauda-Dravidian 
population existed in this dual state already in prehistoric 
times, it will be very difficult indeed to ascertain when 
the Brahmans adopted this classification in their community. 

'" Compare H. H. Wilson's Vishnupurdna, vol. II, p. 195, and Dr. John 
Wilson's Indian Caste, vol. II, pp. 124-139: "The Sarasvata Brahmans 
form the only class of natives of India now distinctly recognized as connected 
with the Sarasvata nation. They are found, not only in the Panjah and 
Sindh, where they ahound, hut in Eajputaria, Gujarat, the North- West Pro- 
vinces, and even, as we have seen, throughout the southern provinces of 
India " (pp. 125, 126). H. T. Colebrooke states in his Miscellaneous Essays, 
London, 1873, vol. II, p. 21 : " The Saraswata was a nation which occupied 
the banks of the river Saraswatl. Brahmanas, who are still distinguished by 
the name of their nation, inhabit chiefly the Panjab or Panchanada, west of 
the river from which they take their appellation." 

1* See H. T. Colebrooke, ibidem, vol. II, p. 25, note 1 : "It is necessary 
to remark, that though Gaura (Gauda) be the name of Bengal, yet the 
Brahmanas, who bear that appellation, are not inhabitants of Bengal, but of 
Hindustan proper. They reside chiefly in the Suba of Delhi, while the 
Brahmanas of Bengal are avowed colonists from Kanoj . It is difiicult to 
account for this contradiction. The Gaura Brahmanas allege a tradition, that 
their ancestors migrated in the days of the Pandavas, at the commencement 
of the present Kali Yuga. Though no plausible conjecture can be formed on 


Yet, considering that the Dravidians gravitated in the 
course of time towards the south, while the Gaudians 
preponderated in the north, and that the Brahmanic divi- 
sion corresponds with this fact, we may not err in assuming 
that the Brahmans introduced this arrangement among 
themselves after the Grauda-Dravidians had thus settled 
down in their respective places. However, even this sup- 
position will not supply us with accurate dates, especially 
as Southern India was already known as Dravida at a com- 
paratively early period. 

It seems thus very improbable that the Grauda- Brahmans 
were originally called after the celebrated town Oauda, or 
after the kingdom of which it was the capital, especially if 
the true derivation of this word is from gauda, ^S', molasses 
(from guda), and if Gaudadesa is an equivalent of Sugarland, 
an explanation which also appears to be doubtful. The name 
Gauda applies to most Brahmans in the North, but it is 
also used as specifying a particular sub-division ; in the 
same manner as Dravida has also a general and a special sig- 

tMs tradition, yet I am induced to retract a conjecture formerly hazarded 
by me, that the Gar of our maps was the 'original country of the Gaura 

Sir Henry) M. Elliot supports in his Supplementary Glossary of Indian 
Terms, London, 1869, vol. I, p. 102, the Pandava legend : " They (the Gaur 
Brahmans) all state that they came from Gaur in Bengal, hut there is much 
improhability in the story. There can be little doubt of Kanaujias emigrat- 
ing on the invitation of Adiswara from Kanauj to Bengal ; how then can we 
account for the whole tribe of Gaurs not only leaving their native seats, but 
crossing through the country of the Kanaujias, and dwelling on the other 
side of them ? If they emigrated in or about the time of the Pandavas, as 
universal local tradition would induce us to suppose, it would lead to the 
inference that Kanaujias are a more modem race. Gaur, moreover, was 
only made the Bengal capital shortly before the Mahomedan conquest, 
and that is too late to admit of its giving a name to one of the ten tribes."— 
Compare also ilidem the remarks made on the Gaur taga on pp. 106-115. 

Dr. Francis Buchanan mentions the legend of a westward Brahmanic 
emigration from Gaur, but disapproves of it also finally. He alludes to it 
twice in the third volume of his History, Antiquities, Topography, and 
Statistics of Eastern India ; thus on p. 42 he writes : " One (tradition) is that 


nification. From what has been already stated, the origin 
of this expression is to be looked for in the West, though no 
doubt the subsequent preponderance of the Eastern Grauda 
kings made this fact fall into oblivion. KuMmba, a grand- 
son of Balakasva and son of Kusa, is the reputed founder 
of the well-known town Kausambi, south of Ayodhya and 
north-west of the modern Allahabad. The HitopadeSa 
places it in the Gauda country.^^ Similarly is the city 
^ravasti described as situated in Gauda, while it belongs to 
Kosala, likewise a part of Oudh." These and many more 
examples can be quoted to show that the term Gauda does 
not apply only to the distant East. Moreover, the tradition 
which Colebrooke has preserved assigns to the Gauda-Brah- 
mans a western home and connects their origin with the wars 
of the Pandavas, I am inclined to attach to this legend 
some value, though I quite admit that we possess no records 
to prove its authenticity. If deserving notice, we ought to 
ascribe to this division a comparatively early date, while 

Janmeyaj , son ol Parikshit, aon of Abhemanyu, son of Arj cm, brother of 
Yudidshthir, and the third king of India of the family of Pandu, remoTed 
all the Brahmans from Gaur and settled them to the west of the Ganges 
beyond Hastinapoor, where their descendants still remain." On pp. 154- 
155, howeTer, he remarks : " The few Brahmans of the Gaur nation, that are 
now in Bengal, have avowedly come very recently from the west of India, 
and the same is the case with almost all the tribes of Sudras, who claim to 
be of the Gam- nation, none of whom, the Vaishnavs excepted, are now to 
be found in Gaur. I therefore concluded, that some place called Gaur in the 
vicinity of Agra or Delhi, was the original country of this nation. I have, 
however, since met with some well-informed Brahmans of this nation who 
allege, that the Gaur of Bengal is their original place of settlement, but 
that the whole of them were removed from thence by Janmeyaj , and placed 
near Hastinapoor. . . The Sudras, however, of Gaur, having as well as the 
Brahmans come from the west of India, renders this emigration in the time 
of Janmeyaj rather doubtful." 

I have proved above the existence of a western Gauda (Gaur.) 

Read about Gaur, also ibidem, vol. Ill, pp. 68-80. 

" Compare Rdmayaria, I, 34, 6 ; Pdnini, IV, 2, 68 ; Hitopadesa in 
Mitralabha Asti Gaadavi?ayS (GaudadSSS, GaudlyS) KauSambi nama 

" Compare Yislmiipurdm, vol. Ill, p. 263, and above p. 115 n. 11. 


if the city of Gauda was not in existence when Ptolemy 
lived, it is evident that no Brahmans could have been 
called after it before his time. I merely call attention to 
this fact, though I object to the proposed derivation of the 
name Gauda-Brahman from the city of Q-auda, whatever 
may have been the origin of the name of that town. 

On the name Kolarian. 

Before entering into any further particulars about the 
Graudian group, it is necessary to make a few remarks on 
the name Kolarian. It has of late been repeatedly and 
authoritatively stated that India was in ancient times called 
Colaria, and that the Kols in Central India represent the real 
aborigiaes of India, to whom it is indebted for this name. 
To both these statements I demur, and though I admit the 
antiquity of the tribes which are now styled Kolarian, I 
would at once observe that the Kola and Koli, who are 
mentioned in the Epic and Pauranic Sanskrit literature, 
should not be confounded with the modern Kols.^' 

The Kolarian theory, if I may so call it, derives its main 
support from the writings of three eminent men, Colonel 
Wilford, Colonel Dalton, and Sir G-eorge Campbell, for whom 
I must needs have the greatest respect; but while recog- 
nizing their merit, I trust to be able to show that in this 
matter they have erred in their conclusions and built up a 
theory on very slender foundations. The view they main- 
tain will be found presented in the following extracts. 

According to Colonel Dalton the word Kol " is one of 
" the epithets of abuse applied by the Bramanical races to 
"the aborigines of the country who opposed their early 
" settlement, and it has adhered to the primitive inhabi- 

18 Koli, as it occurs, e.g., in Kolisarpah. 


" tants of Chota - Nagpore for ages. It includes many 

" tribes ; the people of this province to whom it is generally 
" applied are, either Moondah or Oraon ; and though these 
" races are now found in many parts of the country occupying 
" the same villages, cultivating the same fields, celebrating 
" together the same festivals, and enjoying the same amuse- 
" ments, they are of totally distinct origin and cannot inter- 
" marry without loss of caste."'^ 

Sir George Campbell is the inventor of the term Kolarian, 
and I shall now quote his arguments in favor of it : " The 
" generic name usually applied to the Aborigines of the 
" hni country of Chota-Nagpore, Mirzapore, and Rewah 
" is ' Coles ' or ' Koles.' Europeans apply the term to the 
" Dra vidian Oraons as weU as to the others, but perhaps 
" erroneously. It is difficult to say to which tribes the 
" name is properly applied, for most of them have other 
" distinctive names. But in the south of the Chota-Nagpore 
" country, about Singbhoom, &c., it is certainly applied to 
" the ' Lurka Coles,' and I can myself testify that on the 
" Mirzapore-Jubbulpore road, the Aborigines are called by 
the natives Coles or Kolees, which they volunteered to 
" explain to me to be the same word ' which you call 
" Coolee.' On the Bombay side again a very numerous class 
" of Aborigines are styled Kolees. In the Simla hills also, 
" the inferior people are known as Kolees. Altogether I 
" have myself little doubt that the ordinary word Coolee, as 
" applied to a bearer of burdens or labourer, is the same word, 
" and that in short it is the word generally applied by the 
" Northern Indians to the Aboriginal tribes, most of whom 
" they reduced to the condition of Helots. There seems to 
" be good reason to suppose that the original form of the 

" See Colonel Dalton's article " The Kols of Chota-Nagpore," in the 
Supplement to the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. XXXV, 
1887, Part II, p. 154. 


" word was ' Kola ' or ' Kolar.' In fact, India seems to have 
" teen known to the ancients (who approached it coastwise 
"from the "West) as Oolara or Ooolee-land {Asiatic Re- 
" searches, vol. IX) and the people as Colaurians. If Kolar 
"be the original form of Kolee, it would seem not im- 
" probable thatj as in the mouths of some tribes by dropping 
" the ' r ' it becomes Kola or Kolee, so in the mouths of 
" others by dropping the ' 1 ' it would become Koar, Kaur, 
" Koor, Khar^ or Khor, a form which would embrace a 
" large number of those tribes as now designated. I propose 
" then to call the northern tribes Kolarian or Coolee 
" Aborigines. 

" One may see frequent allusion to Kolaries or CoUeriea 
"in the south of India. It appears that the word there 
" used is properly ' Kallar.' In the Canarese language, the 
" word ' Kallar,' it seems, simply means a thief or robber, 
" and hence some of the predatory Aborigines of the hills, 
" are designated Kallars or robbers, just as the thieves of 
" Central Asia are called ' Kazaks ' or ' Cossacks.' The word 
" is applied so differently from that of Coolee, that there 
" may fairly be doubt of its being the same. But the subject 
" is worthy of further inquiry, and if it prove that in fact 
" the two words are identical, the term Coolee or Kolarian 
" must be applied to the Aboriginal tribes generally, not to 
" one division of them. Meanwhile, however, I apply it to 
" the Northern tribes only, but I confess I have misgivings 
" whether the more general sense may not prove to be the 
" true one."2» 

^'' See The Ethnology of India, by Mr. Justice Campbell, in the Supplement 
to Paxt II, pp. 27, 28 of vol. XXXV of the Journal of the Asiatic Society of 

Compare A Comparative Dictionary of the Languages of India and High Asia 
by "W. "W. Hunter ; Dissertation, pp. 25-27- " Sanskrit literature refers to 
other sections of the Kol race under such names as Chol-as, Kul-indas, &c. . . . 
In the Asiatic Society'' s Journal the ancient name for India is stated to have 
been Kolaria, and turning to the modem map of India, we find indications of 


Sir George Campbell appears thus to be rather diffident 
as to the propriety of his selecting the term Kolarian and 
his doubts are not without good cause. A perusal of the 
arguments of Colonel Wilford will confirm them. In the 
twentieth volume of the Asiatic Journal of Bengal was 
published " A comparative Essay on the Ancient Geography 
of India" by Colonel Wilford, in which we read on pp. 
227 and 228 the following remarks : " The oldest name of 
" India, that we know of, is Colar, which prevailed till the 
" arrival of the followers of Brahma, and is still preserved 
" by the numerous tribes of Aborigines, living among 
" woods, and mountains. These Aborigines are called in the 

the race in every province from Burmali to Malabar : in the Kols of Central 
India ; Kolas of K^twar ; the Kolis, inferior husbandmen and a landless clan 
of Gujarat ; the Kolis, obscurely mentioned as helot cultivators on the Simla 
range ; the Kolitas of Northern Bengal and Assam ; the Kolami of Central 
India, classed with the Naikude, &c. , in my vocabularies ; the Kalars, a 
robber caste in the Tamil country ; the Kalars of Tinnevelly : in the Kolis 
of Bombay ; in the names of the Kolarun river in Southern India, of the 
Koel river, from the Chota Nagpore watershed, of the Culinga and Koladyn 
rivers, and of many other streams ; in Kulna, a district in Bengal ; 
Kulpac, in the Nizam's dominions ; Kulalpur, in the Panjab ; Kulan and 
Kola Fort, in the distant north-west ; in Kulbunga, town and district, near 
the Bombay Presidency, within, I believe, the territory of the Nizam ; and to 
be brief in such names as the following, scattered over the whole length and 
breadth of India, — names which the reader may identify in a moment by 
referring to Dr. Keith Johnston's index to his Map from the Royal Atlas. 
Kuldah, Kulteri, Kulianpur in three different districts, Kullavakurti, Kul- 
lean, KuUer-kaher, Kulu district, Kullum, Kullung River, KuUunji, several 
Kullurs, Kulpani, Kulpi, Kulra, Kulsi, Kolachi, Kolapur town and state, 
the three Kolars, Kolaspui, Kolbarea, Koli, Kolikod (Calicut), Cola Bira, 
Colair, Colgong, Collum (Kayan-kulam), Colur, and Colombo in Ceylon. I 
would go further, and, if time permitted, could philologically prove the 
connection of the above with hundreds of other names and places in regular 

I am afraid that something more than time would have been required by 
Sir William Hunter for proving the philological connection of the Kols 
with the Gaudian Kolami, with the Tamil KaUar, with Kolikod the modern 
Calicut or Ksli-kodu, with Kulianpur or Kalyanapura, not to mention 
many others of the above-quoted names. The Royal Atlas of Dr. Keith 
Johnston can hardly be regarded as an authority with respect to the spelling 
of Indian places. 


*' peninsula to this day, Colaris and Colairs, and in the 
"north of India Coks, Coik and Coolies; thus it seems, 
"that the radical name is Cola. This appellation of 
" Colar was not unknown to the ancients ; for the younger 
"Plutarch says, that a certain person called Ganges, was 
" the son of the Indus and of Bio-Pithusa, a Calaurian 
" damsel, who through grief, threw himself into the river 
" Chliarm, which after him was called Ganges ; and Chliarus 
" is probably a mistake for Calaurins, or the Colarian 
" river. I believe, that Bio-Pithus is the name of the 
" father and Sindhu of the mother : for Dem-Pithu, or 
" Beo-Pithu, is worshipped to this day on the banks of the 
" Sindhu, a female deity. The etymology of Colar is pro- 
" bably out of our reach : but it is asserted by some that Cola., 
" Coil, or Cail, signify a woodlander, exactly like Chael, Gal, 
" in Great Britain ; and the etymological progress is the same. 
" In several dialects of the peninsula Cadu, is a forest, and 
" its derivative is Cddil ; from which striking off the d 
" remains Cail." ^' 

I come now to the passage in Plutarch's work "On 
Rivers," which has originated all these statements about 
India's ancient name Colaria. Plutarch gives in his work 
some legendary accounts of twenty-five rivers. Three among 

'• The article to which Sir George Campbell refers when quoting vol. IX 
oi the Asiatic Sesearches is the suggestive " Essay on theMagadha Kings," by 
Captain F. "WiLford, where on p. 92 we read : "The offspring of Turvasu, so 
far from settling in the west, is declared, in the Sarivansa, to have settled in 
the southern parts of India ; and in the tenth generation, including their 
Sire, four brothers divided the peninsula among themselves. Their names 
were Pandya, Oerala, Cola, and ChUa : and this division obtains, even to this 
day. Cola lived in the northern parts of the peninsula, and his descendants 
are called Coles, and Colters to this day : and they conceive themselves, with 
much probability, to be the aborigines of India, to which they give the name 
of Cotter or Colara. Hence, we read in Plutarch, that the Ganges was called 
formerly the Calaurian river, and the same author mentions a Calaurian, 
or Hindu, and a handsome damsel, called Diopithusa, who was also a Calaa- 
rim, C native of India, or country bordering upon the Calaurian river." 



these are Indian streams : the Hydaspes, Ganges and 

The Hydaspes is the first river described. Plutarch 
relates that a certain king Hydaspes had a daughter Chry- 
sippe, whom Aphrodite out of spite caused to fall in love 
with her own father. She was for this offence crucified by 
the order of her father. But, these calamities so upset 
Hydaspes that he threw himself into the river Indos, which 
was henceforward called Hydaspes. 

In ancient times there lived a youth called Indos, who 
had raped Damasalkida, a daughter of the king Oxyalkos, 
while she was celebrating the feast of Bakohos. The king, 
her father, pursued him, and when Indos saw all escape im- 
possible, he plunged into the river Mausolos rather than 
expose himself to the king's vengeance. This river had 
been so called after Mausolos, a son of the Sun, but from 
that time it was named Indos which is a river in India in the 
country of the Ichthyophages or Fish-eaters. 

The story of the Ganges resembles these two.^' It is as 
follows : — " The Ganges is a river of India, called so for the 
following reason. The nymph Kalauria bore Indos a son of 

^^ See Plutarcli riepl iriyraixiiv or defluminibus. The twenty-five rivers are 
the Hydaspea, Ismenoa, Hebros, Ganges, Phasis, Arar, Paktolos, Lykormas, 
Maiandros, Marsyas, Strymon, Sagaris, Skamandros, Tanais, Thermodon, 
Nilos, Eurotas, Inachos, Alpheios, Euphrates, Kaikos, Acheloos, Araxes, 
Tigris, and Indos. 

'^ See Flutarchi Chaeronensis omnium quae extant operum {Tomi duo), 
Gulielmo Xylandro interprete, Lutetiae Parisiorum, 1624. At the end of the 
second volume is printed : * ' TlKovrapx^v irepi irBrafj^uv Kat opuv ftrojvvfiias Kai 
Toiv iv avTois evpuTKoi^evaiv. — Plutarchi de Fluviorum et Montium nominihus, 
et de iis quae in illis inveniuntur, interprete Philippo Jacobo Maussaeo" There 
we read in vol. II, pp. 1151, 1152 : 

rtiyviis T!ora)iis itrrt Trjs 'IvSlas, tV irposriyoplav \a0iiv Si' ahlav Toiaiirrji'. 
'IvSif tIs KaAavpia vJfi(pT] iyyivvi]iTiV viiv KaWei Trepi$\eirTOl', t^ Spo/ia Ta.yyr)V. 
OStos Kapit^apiiaas ttj fwjTpl kwt' &yvamv crvpiyyivero rri AwinBotlffrj, i Se /leB' 
ri/jifpas irapa ttjs Tpo(pov fiaSHv t^v aX^jBeiav, Sia \uTn;s iirfpfioXiiv ^avrhv mii<f/ev 
eis TroTa/jt-hv XMapiv KaXoiiievov, &s la" avTOv Tdyyris jj.eTavo/j.icdr). Maussacus 
translates this passage as follows : " Ganges fluvius est Indiae, ita vocatus 
hao de causa : Ex Indo Calauria quaedam virgo genuit filium pulchritudine 
conspicuum nomine Gangem : qui somno vinoque sepultus cum matre Diopi- 


conspicuoua beauty, by name Oanges, who, when inebriated, 
had once in ignorance connection with his mother. But 
when he had learnt on a subsequent day the truth from his 
nurse, he threw himself through excess of remorse into the 
river Chliaros, which was called after him Granges." The 
ancient edition of Plutarch, which was published by 
Xy lander at Paris in 1624, contains in an Appendix at the 
end, the treatise On Rivers. It was edited, translated and 
annotated by Phil. Jacob. Maussaous. In its text occurs 
instead of the correct reading S'eVtouo-?; the false expres- 
sion Abo-TTiOova-ri which Maussacus mistook for a name, 
though his predecessors the learned Natalis a Comitibus and 
Tumebus had already doubted the accuracy of the textj as 
Maussacus himself mentioned in a note which is quoted 
below. Colonel Wilford unfortunately accepted the wrong 
reading and built on it a new theory. According to Plutarch, 
so says the Colonel, Diopithiose was a Calauxian damsel, 
but Wilford himself further changes Diopithuse into a man 
Dio-Pithus (for Deva-Pithu or Deo-Pithu), and declares 

thuae concubuit per inscitiam, sed interdiu cum a mitrice rei veritatem didi- 
cisset, ob dolorem extremum seipsum coniecit in fiuvium Chliaxum, qui ab 
eo Grangis nomen assumpsit.' ' 

However, in the 6tli volume of TlXovrapx^v ^AtrotrTratrfiaTa /cat "^evSeirtypatpa 
edited by TV. Dubner, Paris, 1855, and in tbe e6ition oi Flutarchi Ziiellus 
de flwviis, rec. et notis instr. End. Hercher, Lipsiae, 1857, we read : 
V6.'YYn^ iroTaixSi itrrt rrji *lvSias . . . Ovros Koprifiapiiffa^ rp fiTjrpl Kar^ &yvoiay 
iTvviyyevero, T^ S'eirioiJo^ r&v Tjfiepwv irapa T^s rpoijtov fiaOiov t^v aX^Oeiap , 
^aurhv ^^pt^ev ets TOTafxhv XKiapoy . . . 

We read already on p. 72 in the Appendix to the edition of M aussacus 
entitled ; Plutarchi Ubrorum Ilfpl iroTafiav Philippi Jac. Maussaoi emenda- 
tioneset notae: " Minim est hoc nomen proprium Diopithusae uoatros in- 
terpretes exercitos habuisse. Natalis a Comitibus sicco pede haec transivit, 
quae tamen fida interpretatione opus habebant. Magnus Tumebus tanta 
est usus ciroumlocutione in vero hoc nomine explicando, ut plane eum ab 
scope aberasse nemo bonus negare audeat ; qui per ebrietatem (inquit) inscienter 
matrem divorum quempiam esse existimantem, cognovit. TJt concedamus 
Aioiri9oi5<rt) hie non esse nomen proprium tamen Graecis non convenit haec 
interpretatione Latina, vertendum enim esset simpliciter, Jovem eum esse 
eredentem, sed hoc est nugari, AioTrieoiio-?) nomen verum est Diopithusae." 


Cohir as the oldest name of India we know of. That theory, 
however, must now be abandoned, and with the disappearance 
of Biopithuse from the pages of Plutarch, the whole edifice of 
conjecture so ingeniously raised on the supposed occurrence 
of this name, must faU. to the ground ; there being absolutely 
nothing to support the assumption that India was known in 
the earliest times as the Kolarian Empire. 

Sir George Campbell supported Colonel Wilford by stating 
that India " seems to have been known to the ancients as 
Colara or Coolee Land and the people as Colaurians " and 
by eventually advocating the name Colee or Kolarian for the 
aboriginal tribes of India. I need not specially mention 
that the dictionary of Greek proper names, compiled by Dr. 
W. Pape, does not contain Biopithuse as a name, though it 
refers to the nymph Kalauria and the river Chliaros.^* 

I had here in Madras at my disposal only the antiquated 
edition of Xylander printed by Antonius Stephanus, in which 
the reading Biopithuse occurs. Though doubting its accu- 
racy from the first, I was not prepared to emendate the text, 
for besides my own conviction and the note of Maussacus, I 
had no evidence to go upon. Later on, however, I consulted 
Dr. Pape's excellent Dictionary of Greek names and the 
fact that it makes no mention of Diopithuse confirmed my 
suspicions. To ascertain the truth, I eventually wrote to 

'^^ The Worterbuch der griechischen Eigennnmen von Dr. W. Pape gives 
Kalauria as the name of a nymph, e.g. on p. 235 (third edition) 
"Ganges,-') S.-des Indos u.-der Kalauria, welcher eich in den Chliaroa 
Btiirzte, wovon dieeer den Namen Ganges erhielt, Pb<t. fluv. 4, 1 ;'' and on 
p. 596 under Kalauria; "'Nymphe, Gem. des Indos, M. des Ganges, 
Plut.fltw. 4, 1." 

Kalauria or Kalaureia is the well-known island with the famous temple 
■of Poseidon, which opened a safe asylum to all pursued. Demosthenes 
when hunted down by the Macedonians, poisoned himself in it. The island 
was called after Kalauros, a son of Poseidon. Kalauria helonged originally to 
Apollo who had exchanged it with Poseidon for Delos. Poseidon is therefore 
also called Kalam-eatcs, Kalauria in contradistinction to Kalabria is some- 
times explained as ' ' land of peace " and Kalauros as " peaceful ' ' (Frederic) . 


friends in Europe who Jdndly supplied me with the right 
reading S'eTnova-r} instead of Aiowodovarj. 

It may also be added that, according to Plutarch, all the 
rivers on which he comments have changed their original 
names in order to bear the one by which they were afterwards 
generally known. Plutarch refers occasionally to previous 
authors to verify his accounts, e.g., to Kallisthenes, Kai- 
maron, Kleitophon, Aristoteles, and others, but even if most 
of the works he quotes had not been lost, it is doubtful 
whether he could have substantiated his statements. The 
stories about the Hydaspes and Indos are so un-Indian 
and so mythical that it is hardly necessary to try to explain 
the report concerning the Ganges. Even if the term 
Kalauria were an adjective derived from a proper name, and 
Chliaros were a mistake for Kalaurios, there is nothing 
to prove that Kalauria should be identical with Indian, not 
to speak of the boldness of deriving from it Colar or Colara 
as a term designating India in ancient times ; a term and 
a signification which occur nowhere in the whole classical 
literature. I am quite convinced that Kalauria has nothing 
to do with the Kols of Chota-Nagpore, though I am not pre- 
pared to venture a decided conjecture as to the origin of the 
word Kalauria used by Plutarch.^* 

It is perhaps a mere accident that the Yamuna which 
joins the Granga or Ganges at Prayaga (Pratisthana, the 
modem Allahabad) is called Kalindi, the daughter of Ka- 
linda, for she springs from the mountain Kalinda, or is accord- 

25 Herodotos mentions III, 38 and 97, the Indian Kalatiai or Kalantiai 
who ate their parents. The Brahman Kalanos (Kalyana) who accompanied 
Alexander the Great is well known for burning himself alive. I only mention 
these names as they resemble somewhat Kalauria. I need hardly add 
that the Greek word Ka\apis, which is commonly prononnced K6\apis, a kind 
of screech-owl, has nothing in common with this subject. 

To declare Colara as a name of India, though such never existed, and 
to derive it from the nymph Kalauria on the authority of the younger 
Plutarch's mythical account of the river Ganges appears like a pun, or 
like what a Berliner would call a Kalauer. 


ing to others a daughter of the Sun-god Kalinda who is in 
consequence known as Kdlindlsu, the father of Yamuna, while 
the god Yama is called Kalmd'mdara, the brother of Yamuna. 
I mention this circumstance as Plutarch gives to Indos the 
name of Mausolos after Mausolos, the son of the Sun. 

Another peculiar coincidence is that the Kali or Black 
Ganga, which is also known as Mandakiifi, has in its upper 
course some famous warm springs and that Chliaros in Greek 
means lukewarm. A second Mandakini rises on the Kdlan- 
jara mountain, on whose top the lake of the gods is situated. 

It is somewhat astonishing that Colonel Wilford without 
giving any reasons explained Chliaros as a mistake for 
Calaurius. He could as weU. have conjectured Chliara for 
Kalauria. All editions, however, of Plutarch, the modem 
emendated as well as the old antiquated, read Kalauria and 
Chliaros as proper-names.^^ 

The ancient inhabitants of the country round Mathura 
in North India are also called Kalars, but this name has 
not yet been explained and has presumably no connection 
with the Kalauria nymphe of Plutarch. 

Modem writers have often identified the Kolis and the 
Kolarees or Colleries of South India with the Kols. It is 
a peculiar circumstance that, except by the Hos or Larka- 
Kols, the term Kol is not used by the so-called Kolarians, 
who include the Mundas, Santals, Korwas, Juangs, and a 
few other tribes.^' The Kolis are, according to my opinion, 
Gaudians, and must be distinguished from those races now 

^ For Edlindi occurs also Kalindi, a wrong formation. Balarama is also 
caXiei. Kilinrli-Knrsma, or Ealindi-bhedana for diverting the Yamuna by 
his ploughshare into a new bed in the Vrndavana-forest. Manddkitil is also 
the name of the Ganga of the heavens. About this river see Chr. Lassen's 
Indische Alterth., vol. I, pp. 64-66, where this question is fully discussed. 

" See Colonel Dalton's Ethnology of Bengal, p. 178 : " The Hos are the 
only branch of the Kols that has preserved a national appellation." Larlca. 
means fighter. About the Kolarians conoult Mr. J. F. Hewitt's "Notes on 
the early History of Northern India," in the Journal of the JR. A. Society, 
vol. XX, pp. 321-363. 


generally described as Kols. Besides, our knowledge of this 
people is stiU very limited, and it would be Tenturesome to 
make decided statements as to their origin. Though differing 
from the Grauda-Dravidians in language, which must be 
regarded as a very important test, they nevertheless inter- 
marry occasionally with them, a circumstance which on 
the other hand tends to indicate some intimate connection 
between them. 

The word Kuli is a common Gauda-Dravidian term 
which signifies hire, and is eventually also applied to the 
person who is hired. A hireling or servant is thus called 
a Kuli. The name Kol is a totally distinct word. The 
now common term Kuli started from the Eastern coast of 
India, where the principal English factories such as Madras 
were situated, and whence in course of time the English 
commenced to lay the foundation of their Indian Empire 
in the days of Olive. ^* 

The Kolarees or CoUeries represent the well-known 
Xallas, the dreaded thief tribe, who are mostly dependents of 

28 Compare Wilson's Glossary, p. 301 : " Ktdi, Coolee, (Tam. a,_6i9, Mai. 
^aTi., Kan. *«0, Tel. ^8, Beng. ^r^, Hind. ,^), Daily hire or wages : 

a day labourer, a Cooh/ : (the word is originally Tamil, whence it spread into 
the other languages : in TTpper India it hears only its second and apparently 
suhsidiary meaning : it appears as Culialu, as the term for hired labourers, 
in Tulava — Buchanan.)" Kuliyalu is one of the Kanarese terms for hireling 
like the Telugu Kiiligaiu. 

In Colonel Tula's and Dr. BurneU's Glossary of Anglo-Indian Colloquial 
Words and Phrases, p. 192, an attempt is made to derive the term Euli from 
Koli, hut it is notwithstanding admitted: "Though this explanation of 
the general use of the term Gooly (from Koli) is the most probable, the 
matter is perplexed by other facts -which it is difiBcult to trace to the same 
origin. Thus in S. India, there is a Tamil word kuli in conunon use, 
signifying ' hire ' or ' wages, ' which "Wilson indeed regards as the true origin 
of Cooly. Also in both Oriental and Osmanli Tuxtish Kol is a word for a 
slave, whilst in the latter also Kukh means ' a male slave, a bondsman ' 
{SedLuse). Khol is in Tibetan also a word for servant or slave (Note from 
A. Schiefner). The famUiar use of Cooly has extended to the Straits Settle- 
ments, Java and China, as weU as to all tropical and sub-tropical colonies, 
whether English or foreign." 


the Eaja of Pudukota. A single individual of this clan 
is called a Kalian, of which word Kallar is the plural. ^^ 

Enough has been already adduced to prove that the 
Kalauria nymphe of Plutarch does not refer to an ancient 
name of India, that the so-called Colaria is a purely imag- 
inary appellation, based in part on a badly pronounced and 
distorted plural formation of the name of the Kallar, or on 
Kolarees, and that, though the term Kolarian may be still 
applied to the Kol race, it must be clearly understood that 
all the wild philological vagaries concerning the origin and 
antiquity of this expression ought to be abandoned. Yet, the 
history of the fictitious term Colaria provides us on the other 
hand with an instructive example how by a concatenation of 
conjectures and conclusions a new theory can be successfully 
started and find acceptance among scholars of reputation. 
It has thus now become a fashion to ascribe all ancient 
monuments with which the Kolis, Kolas and other kindred 
tribes can be connected with the so-called Kolarians, whose 
original home and early history are shrouded in mysterious 
darkness, who, if we can trust reliable information, do not 
even use the term Kol as a tribal name, and who, so far as 
it is known, do not claim as their own the scattered remains 
in Northern India, which modem writers are so fond of 
ascribing to them. 

I now proceed to discuss in detail the principal tribes 
whom I regard as representatives of the Gaudian race. The 
linguistic and ethnological connection of these clans has 
in most instances been generally admitted by competent 
scholars, yet, their close relationship has, so far as I am 
aware, not hitherto been so distinctly stated. 

I shall begin with the Kolis, Kolas, and tribes kindred, 
pass on to the Gonds and their clansmen, then notice the 

^' It is doubtful whether Kalian meant originally a thief, or simply a man 
of the Kalian trihe who, excelling in thieving accomplishments, imparted to 
his trihal name the meaning of thief. I recur to this suhject on pp. 267 — 60. 


Kodagas, Koragas, afterwards consider the position of the 
Todaa and Kotas, and end with a survey of the Kurubaa 
or Kurumbas in their various ramifications. 


On the Kolis (Kulis), Kolas. 

The Kolis and Kolas have already been mentioned in 
the previous chapter. Sanskrit works contain their name 
in connection generally with Pandya, Kerala and Cola, the 
sons of Akrida and descendants of I>usyanta. The term 
Koli occurs in Kolisarpah, instead of which the manuscript 
used by M. Langlois contained probably Kolah Sarpah or 
Kolasarpah, as he translates the passage by : " les Colas, les 
Sarpas." The Kolis appear likewise in Sanskrit inscriptions. 
The name of the Kolas can be traced in that of the country 
Kolanca, which has, according to the Sabdaratnavali, Kanya- 
kubja as its capital, or which, according to Horace Haymaa 
Wilson, is identical with Kalinga. 

The word Kola forms also part of Sanskrit names of 
various peoples, plants, countries and mountains, as of 
Kolagiri, KoUagiri, Kolahala, Kollaka and Kolvagiri, &c^ 
We meet it even in South-Indian names of places, e.g., ia 
Kolam, Kolanadu, Kolattanadu and others. 

I regard the name Cola or Coda (in Telugu and Kanarese- 
Cola, and in Tamil and Malayalam Cola) as a modification 
of the word Kola. It is a remarkable historical fact that 
the Colas and Pandyas were as a rule rival kings who- 
fought continually against each other. With the various 
formations of the terms Kola, Cola, and Coda may be com- 
pared those of Kera, Cera and Ceda. The expressions Cera 
and Kongu are occasionally used identically. 

The first syllable ko in Kola and Koli indicates the 
mountain home, while the second syllable la or li intimates 



the particular tribal distinction. The interchange between 
/ and r produces Kori (Kohri) as a variation of Koli.^" 

The Kolis and Kolas, as has already been pointed out, 
should be distinguished from the so-called Kolarian Kols. 
In consequence of the near relation of the Kolis to the 
Bhils and Gronds, hardly any doubt can be entertained about 
their belonging to the Graudian branch of the Grauda-Dra- 
vidians. The establishment of this ancient kinship is an 
important fact. It severs the connection between the Kolis 

3" KnlaTica means originally a country adjoining Kola. The late Mr. C. 
P. Brown explained Koladesamu, r*e)"i^^Ai, as the long country, which 
interpretation ia obviously erroneous when applied to the Sanskrit word 

Kolagiri is a mountain in Southern India. The commentator Malli- 
natha is surnamed Kolagiri. The Sabhdparva says in Slokall71 : " Krtsnam 
KOlagirim caiva Surabhipattanam tatha." The KoUagiri occurs in Varaha- 
mihira's Brhatsamhitd, XIV, 13 : 

Karnata - Mahatavi-CitrakQta - Nasiky a - KoUagiri - Colah 


The KauUagireyas fought according to the ASvamSdha with Ar j una : 

Arcitah prayayau hhflmau daksinam salilarnavam 

Tatrapi Dravidair Andhrair Audrair Mahisakair api. 

Tatha KauUagireyaisca yuddham asU Kirltinah. 
About Kolahala compare G-eneral Sir A. Cunningham's Arch(2ological 
Survey of India, vol. VIII, pp. 123, 125. 

Compare what is said about the town Kollagira in the Indian Antiquary, 
vol. XIV, p. 23, note 22: "it appears that KoUagii-a was another name 
of KoUapura or Kolhapur." See ibidem, vol. Ill, pp. 209, 210 in the 
article "The Geography of Ibn Batuta's Indian Travels," by Col. H. 
Yule : " The Koil prince must be the Kola-tiri or Cherakal Raja, whose 
kingdom was called Kola-ndda." About Kolatta-nddu, the district about 
Tellicherry, see Indian Antiquary, -vol. VIXI, pp. 115, 146. Compare also 
Dr. Gundert's Malayalam and English Dictionary, p. 318, under Kolani : " 4. 
North Malabar, subject to Kolattiri or Kolaswarupam." 

About the Cera or Kotigu kings confer among others the Indian Anti- 
quary, vol. II, pp. 155, 271 ; vol. V, pp. 13.1-140 ; vol. VI, pp. 99-103. 

About the change of the I into r in words like KoU compare General Sir 
A. Cunningham's Arehaologieal Survey of India, vol. XI, p. 101 : " I paid 
a visit to the old site of Eoron, or Kordwa-dih, because the people agreed in 
stating that the old name of the place was Kolpur, which I thought might 
perhaps be connected with the old city of Koli, the birth-place of Maj^adevi. 
But . . the position of Eorondih ... is much too distant to be identified with 
that of Koli." Compare also the late Mr. John A. C. Boswell's Manual of 
the Nellore District, p. 157 ; "The Yerukalas in this district state that their 
tribe name in their own language is Eurru, also Kola." 


and Kols, whicli is still occasionally asserted to exist and to 
which I have repeatedly alluded. 

The Kolis appear originally as mountaineers, but after- 
wards descending to the plains, some settled down as agri- 
culturists, while many others selecting the seashore became 
fishermen and sailors.'^ 

The Koli mountaineers were not long ago the guardians 
of the hill-passes, especially of those in the Ajanta range and 
in the Western Ghats. Their ancient position as lords of the 
mountains is to this day certified by the fact that the 

'' See C. Lassen's Indische AUerthtimskimde, vol. I, p. 137 (or 108): 
" Bhilla sitzen hier nooh in dem Granzgebirge naoh Malva, Eajputana und 
siidliclier ; ein grosser Theil der Bevolkerung besteht aus einem andern 
ursprunglich ahnliohen Volke, den Kuli {Kola) , welches aber Brahmanisohe 
Sitten dem grossem Theile nach augenommen hat." Compare further Eev. 
M. A. Sherring's Hindu Tribes and Castes, vol. II, pp. 307-316. 

Sir George Campbell remarks in his Ethnology of India about the Koolens 
on pp. 42-45 as follows : " I find, however, that the opinion of those quali- 
fied to judge seems to tend to the belief that there is no essential difference 
between the two tribes (the Koolees and Bheels) . Forbes in his Eas Mala says . 
' Koolees or Bheels, for though the former would resent the classification, the 
distinctions between them need not be here noticed.' Captain Probyn says : 
' I think there is no actual difference between Koolees and Bheels. Their 
religion ia the same.' Mr. Ashburner : ' There is no real difference between 
Bheels and Koolees ; their habits, physiognomy and mode of life are the 
same, modified by local circumstances.' And the Rev. Mr. Duulop Moore 
says : ' Koolees frequently marry Bheel wives.' Other authorities, however, 
say that they do not intermarry. They both seem to claim a northern and 
not a southern origin, pointing to the hills of Eajpootana and the north 
of Goozerat. The Bheels say that they were originally called Kaiyos ;^ Sir 
John Malcolm says that they are related to the Meeuas of Eajpootana, and 
once ruled in the Jeypore country. Forbes again teUs us that the Koolees 
were originally called Mairs, while in Eajpootana, Col. Tod speaks of Maira 
or Meenas as one race . . . Though probably in the main of the same class 
and similar origin, the Koolees and Bheels are now quite distinct tribes, and 
there is this considerable difference that the Koolees have come much more 
into contact with Aryan blood civilization . . . The Koolees are the Abori- 
gines of Goozerat (where they now live in considerable number), and of 
the hills adjoining that Province. The hills east of Goozerat are called 
< Kolwan ' and seem to be the property of Koolee tribes . . . The Bheels are 
the proper possessors of the hills farther in the interior and east of the 
Koolees . . . The Koolees seem to be scattered down the Coast country 
nearly as far as Goa, and north again into the ' Thurr ' and the neighbour- 
hood of Scinde. While the wUder Koolee* of the hills are like the Bheela, 


famous sanctuary at Mahabalesvara is under the hereditary 
wardenship of Kolis. 

Many shrines throughout India are associated with the 
lowest classes of the population, as we have seen, when 
speaking of the temples at Melkota, Puri and Trevandrum. 
The sanctuary at Mahabalesvara over a spring which is sup- 
posed to he the source of the Krishna, though said to have 
been founded by a Sattara Brahman, named Anagada, is 
under the hereditary superintendence of a Koli family, and 
the chief official in charge is a Koli. Such a Koli is called 
Gangaputra, and whatever offerings a worshipper makes 
after bathing form the perquisite of the Kolis and are taken 
by them. "At the temple of Mahabalesvara also," thus 
writes the Hon. Visvanath Narayan Mandlick, " the Kolis 
" hold a hereditary position, and the Guravas, who worship 
" the Linga in that temple, appear more closely allied to the 
" hill tribes than to the inhabitants of the plains ; they (i.e., 
" the Guravas) have, however, no connection with the shrine 
" of the Krishnd, where the Kolis alone are the principal 

the mass of more civilised Koolees are said to be not only fairer and more 
Caucasian in feature, but also more sly and cunning and less truthful . . 
The wilder tribes of the race are stiU predatory, and Forbes mentions the 
Koolees as by far the most numerous of the arm-bearing castes who in 
former days, living in the hills between Goo3erat and Rajpootana, disturbed 
the country. He describes them as of diminutive stature, with eyes which 
bore an expression of liveliness and cunning, clothes few, arms bows and 
arrows, habits swift and active, bold in assault, but rapid in flying to the 
jungles, independent in spirit, robbers, averse to industry, addicted to 
drunkenness, and quarrelsome when intoxicated ; formidable in anarchy, 
but incapable of uniting among themselves. This description seems exceed- 
ingly well to apply to the wild Bheels of modem days, whom indeed Forbes 
classes with the Koolees . . . Lassen in his map places Koolees (Kolas he calls 
them) in the centre of Kattywar . . . The Kolees of the Simla hiUs and 
Domes of Kumaon are merely inferior castes living among the general 

Compare the Gazetteer of Aurangahad, Bombay 1884, p. 280 : "The Kolis 
belong to the aborigines, and are of low but respectable caste. They are 
divided into the Kolis of the hiUy countries, and the Kolis of the plains. 
They are also arranged in separate tribes, and were formerly very trouble- 
some. Several tribes of Kolis guarded the passes of the Ajanta range imder 
their own N&iks, while others attached themselves to the Bhils ; but the majo- 
rity have long settled down to peaceful callings, and the land-holding Kolis 


" officers in charge." ^^ The origin of the famous Mahaba- 
leSvara temple is ascribed to the Paulastya Ravana. He 
compelled Siva, so runs the tradition, by his severe penance 
on the mountain Kailasa, to surrender to him his Prdna 
Linga. The terrified gods tried every means to regain it, but 
their attempts were fruitless. At last Visnu raised his Cakra 
to prevent the sun-rays from descending to the earth, and 
Havana, who was then at Grokarna, believing that the sun 
was setting prepared to perform his Sandhyavandanam. 
But the Prdna Linga, which he carried in his hand, prevented 
him from performing properly his worship. He, therefore, 
requested Gampati to take temporary charge of the Linga. 
The god assented, but pretending that the Linga was too heavy 
placed it on the ground. Once there, it remained fixed in 
spite of all the attempts of the Eaksasa to remove it. When 
trying for the fifth time he cried as his strength was 
failing : " Mahabala," great power ! which expression 
is said to have given the name to the place. '^ 

deny all affinity with, those of the hills. In the village establishment, the 
Koli is most generally associated with the occupation of a water-carrier, and 
the Kunhi drinks water from, his hands. He is known hy his ehumli, or 
twisted cloth which he wears on his head in order to rest the waterpot ; but 
he is often a good farmer, or is engaged as a musician, handicraftsman, 
weaver, palanquin bearer, fisher, labourer . . . They use meat, drink spirits, 
bury their dead, worship KhandobS,, Bairob4, and Bhavini, and employ 
Brihmiins for religious ceremonies, but have also priests of their own." 
See Mstorical and Descriptive Sketch of S. H. theMmm's Dominions, compiled 
by Syed Hossain Bilgrami, b.a,, and C. Willmott, Bombay, 1883, vol. I, p. 
310 : " At one time they (the Kolis) acted as guards in the hiU passes on the 
northern frontier and in the Ajanta hills ; there is a tribe of KoUs who had 
charge of the Ghaut passes." The Kambali Kurumbas make and wear 
chamlis (kambalis) in the same manner ; see p. 229, n. 107. 

I agree with Sir George Campbell so far as their relationship with the 
Bhils is concerned, the latter I have proved to be Dravidians, see pp. 19, 


^'' See " The Shrine of the Kiver Krishna at the Village of Mahibale^- 
vara," by E&o S&heb Vishvanlth NSrayan Mandlick in the Journal of the 
Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. IX, pp. 250-261. 

'3 See ibidem, pp. 257, 268. Compare also Areheeological Survey of India, 
vol. VIII, pp. 143, 1*4, about Havana's connection with the linga of 
" Mahadeo EavaneSvara. " 


The conneotion of the ancient hill tribes with many cele- 
brated Indian shrines is also admitted by the Hon. ViSvanath 
Narayan Mandlick. " The above tradition of Gokarna," he 
says, " points out to the origin of these places of Linga worship 
" by the influence of, if not amongst, the wild tribes of the 
" mountains of whom Eavana is a fair representative. The 
** actual position of the Kolis at the temples of the Krishna 
" and also at Mahabalesvara, appears to confirm the above 
" conclusion. The serpent is connected with both these 
" temples, and from the Linga temples he seems to be quite 
" inseparable. In the latter he is represented as being coiled 
" round the Linga, while in the temple of the Krishna, a living 
" one is supposed to be guarding its sources." ^* 

The most accurate description of the Kolis has been 
written by Captain A. Macintosh, to whose account we 
owe, in fact, the greater part of our information about 
these people. Yet, he is compelled to admit : " We cannot 
" expect to glean much authentic information of an historical 
" description from an ignorant and unlettered people like the 
" KoKs. The few traditions they possess relative to their first 
" settlement in their present locations and of subsequent 

Read also Dr. Ft. Buchanan's Journey from Madras through the countries of 
Mysore, Canara and Malabar, second edition, vol. II, p. 316. " Gaukarna, or 
the cow's horn (?), is a place of great note among the Brahmans, owing to a 
celebrated image of Siva called Mahabaleswara. The image is said to have 
been brought from the mountain Coila by Eavana, king of Lanca. He 
wished to carry it to his capital ; but ha^-ing put it down here, the idol 
oeoame fixed in the place, where it stands to this day." 

*' The Kanara people regard Gokarna as holier than Benares ; for they 

Gokarnam ca mahakaSI viSvanatho mahabalah 
Kctitlrtham oa Gangayah simiidram adhikam phalam ; " 
according to the Journal of the Bombay Royal Asiatic, vol. IX, p. 258. 
Compare in the Indian Antiquary, vol. Ill, pp. 247, 248, Dr. J. Gerson 
da Cunha's account of the legend concerning the linga of Wdlukesvara, 
the present Malabar Hill, with which liiga the Kolis seem also to be con- 
nected : ' ' The Kolis, who, as wiU be shown hereafter, were the original 
inhabitants of Bombay, pay special devotion to this linya .... (their) 
principal quarter in the whole Konkan, I suppose, is Kulftba." 


" events until within the last century appear to be involved in 
" much obscurity and confusion." The late Mr. Alexander 
Kinloch Forbes mentions in his Rds Maid the legendary des- 
cent of the Kolis from YuvanaSva, the father of Mandhatr." 
Captain Macintosli repeatedly mentions in his Account 
the great veneration in which the Kolis hold the well-known 

^ See " An Account of the Tribe of the Mhadeo Kolies," by Captain A. 
Macintosh, in the Madras Journal of Literature and Science, vol. V., pp. 
71-112, 238-279; compare also /»!ija« Antiqunry, vol. II, p. 154 ; vol. Ill, 
pp. 76, 77, 126, 127, 186-196, 222, 224, 227, 228, 248 ; vol. V, p. 8, and Sir 
G. Campbell's Ethnology of India in the Appendix to vol. XXXV, of the 
Journalof the Asiatic Society oj Bengal, pp. 46, 53, 123, 125. 

In the Rds Mala, London, 1878, pp. 78-79, we read : " A similar fabulous 
descent is given to the Koolees from Youwanashwa, the father of Mandhata 
Raja. Their ancestor, Koolee, was brought up by a sage in the forest, and 
always led a jungle life, "whence it happened, as the bard says, that his descen- 
dants, though in the towns they are of little importance, are lions %n the jungle. 
The Koolees lived for a long time on the sea-shore, in the neighbourhood of 
the Indus, but they were removed to the country about the Null by the god- 
dess Hinglaz, and brought with them the earth-nut called ' beerd,' which 
even in famine does not fail. They were called at this time Mairs, as well 
as Koolees, and Sonung Mair was their leader. He left twelve sons, each of 
whom became the head of a clan ... In these times, says the bard, there 
was not so great a population in Goozerat, but there was much forest, and 
the Bheels and Koolees lived in security. They were doubtless then, as now, 
hereditary and professional plunderers, ' soldiers of the night, ' as they 
describe themselves. Raja Kurun Solunkee is the first ruler of Goozerat on 
record who devoted his attention to putting a curb upon these wild tribes." 

Captain Macintosh derived the term Kiili from the Koli tribe. He writes 
in a note on p. 71 : "On a former occasion, I ventured to derive the term 
Cooly, applied by us to porters, labourers or persons who work for hire, in 
the following manner — as the fishermen, boatmen, and many of the common 
labourers, at Bombay, and along the coast, are Kolies, the term Cooly may 
have originated among the English at Bombay. A passenger coming 
ashore, when a ship arrived from Europe, might have wished to give a box 
or package in charge to a native (probably a person of rank or caste) ; he 
would say, or a servant in attendance might say, that he would fetch a 
Koly , or a certain number of Kolies, to take ' master' s baggage ' to the shore. 
Thus the term would have become familiar, and, in the course of time, 
would be indiscriminately applied to all porters or labourers, and soon 
have spread among the few English settled in India in those days." 

In the above-mentioned Glossary of Anglo-Indian Colloquial Words and 
Phrases is on p, 192 the expression Cooli/ also connected with the Kolis : 
"The origin of the word appears to have been a nomen gentile, the name 
(Koll) of a race or caste in Western India, who have long performed such 
offices as have been mentioned . . According to Dr. H. V. Carter, the Kolis 


Kliand5ba, whom I consider as a national deity of the Gau- 
dian Khands.^^ 

The Kolis have among thera a tradition, according to 
which they are the descendants of the famous Yalmlki, the 
poet of the Eamayana. It may be that the similarity 
of the profession embraced by Valmiki — previously to his 
becoming a poet — and by the Kolis, has something to do 
with this belief. Both are celebrated as robbers." 

According to the last census report, the Kolis number 
2,488,372 souls: 1,669,302 live in Bombay, 429,688 in 
Baroda, 213,966 in Hyderabad, and 123,171 in the Punjab, 


The KohJis in Bhandara and Chanda, who are agricul- 
turists, have a distinct Gond type, and have retained many 
Gond customs.'^ 

proper are a true hill-people whose especial locality lies in the Western 
Ghats, and in the northern extension of that range, between 18° and 24° N. 
latitude." I have referred on p. 131, u. 28, to another passage of this 
article in the Glossary. 

I have already on p. 131 declared myself against this explanation. 
Though it is a matter cf minor importance, I may observe as an additional 
proof that the tribal name is always pronounced Koli, and not Killi. 

^ See ibidem, p. 106 : " The Kolies pay their adorations to all the Hindoo 
deities, but their chief object of worship is Khundy-row, commonly called 

3' See ibidem, p. 82 : " One of the descendants of Neeshad and a female 
sboodur, were the parents of the Poolkuss ; and a male of the Neeshad lineage 
and a female of the Poolkuss family, were the parents of the Koly. He was 
to subsist, by kiUing whatever animals he encountered in the jungles and 
forests. It may further be stated, that the Kolies say that they are the 
descendants of Valmik, the distinguished author of the Ramayan, who, 
although of Brahman parentage, and born at Veer Walla, twenty-four miles 
south-east of Poona, it is said, followed the life of a Koly." About the 
Koolees or Bheelssee Sir G. Campbell's Ethnology of India, p. 46. 

3' According to the Indian Antiquary, vol. VI, p. 233, the late Eev. Dr. 
John Wilson derived the name of the Kolis from the Sanskrit word kula, a 
clan. I need aot dilate on the groundlessness of this etymology. Compare 
p. 133. 

3' See Eev. M. A. Sherring's Hindu Tribes and Castes, vol. II, p. 109 : 
" They have a remarkable faculty for selecting the best sites for irrigation 
reservoirs ; and to possess a large tank is their highest ambition. On the 
lands watered by these tanks they cultivate sugar-cane and rice." 


I telieve that the Koris (Kohris) are of the same extrac- 
tion as the Kolis. The former are said to have emigrated 
from Benares, in the train of a Bhonsla prince of the 
Chandah hranch.*" I am also inclined to connect the Koiris 
of Bengal with both these tribes.*^ 

Whether there exists any connection between the Kolis and 
the Graulis is doubtful. As was the case with Gauda, so also is 
the term Gauli differently interpreted. Some derive the name 
Gauli from the Sanskrit word go, cow, and explain Gauli to 
signify cowherd, others connect it with Koli. It is even pos- 
sible that both derivations are right, and that the term Gauli 
represents originally two different, but equal-sounding words ; 
oue being derived from Koli and the other from go. In the 
first case it has an ethnological and in the other a professional 
meaning. To those Gaulis who are cowmen both terms are 

*" See ibidem, pp. 107, 108 : " They produce sugar-cane in large quan- 
tities, the produotiou of which is chiefly in their hands. The tribe has 
distinguished itself for its great enterprise and energy in the excavation of 
noble tanks and in the formation of numerous embankments." According 
to the census of 1881, the Koris amount to 946,851, 843,422 of whom are 
found in the North-Western Proirincea, 48,826 in the Central Provinces, and 
43,565 in Bengal. Compare Mr. Charles Grant's Gazetteer of the Central 
Provinces, pp. 61, 137, 181, 194 and 438 on the Koris (Kohris). 

*i Compare Colonel Dalton's Ethnology of India, pp. 320, 321 : "In some 
districts the Koiris appear to be more numerous than the Kurmis. The 
distinction between them is, that the former are generally market gardeners 
as well as agriculturists. Buchanan estimated that there were 30,000 
families of Koiris in the Shahabad District, and 45,000 families in Bihar. 
A learned pandit informs me that the derivation of the name is ku, 
earth, and ari, enemy. They are so called from their constant attacks on the 
soil. Koiris, men and women, are always troubling it. . . Every three years 
they make offerings on a MU known as the Marang Bum of the Kols, the god 
that is invoked by the aborigines, especially when rain does not fall in due 
season." See also Eev. M. A. Sherriug's Sindu Tribes and Castes, vol. I, 
pp 325 326 : " These (the Koeris) and the Kumhhis are the great agri- 
cultural classes of these provinces. . . The Koeris and Kumbhis are 
agriculturists by profession. . . The Koeris are the principal growers of 
poppy, and producers of opium, both in Benares and Behar. . . The Koeris 
are numerous in the district of Jhansi, where they pursue the occupation of 
weaving. Their tradition is, that they came from Benares about seven 
hundred years ago." The census report of 1881 mentions 3,067 Koeris in 
Assam and 1,204,884 Koeris in Bengal. Eev. Sir O. Campbell's Ethnology 
of India, p. 107. 



applicable. The Mahadeo Kolis assert that their ancestors 
subdued the Gaulis, and to these are also ascribed most 
of the earlier graves. The Grauli chiefs, according to tradi- 
tion, ruled in the Central Provinces long before the Gond 
Bajas. I believe that future enquiry will prove that the 
Grauli Rajas were not Aryans, but that they, like other 
tribes similarly named, belonged to the Graudian race.*^ 

I must not omit to mention here the ancient tribes of the 
KuUnda, Kuluta, (Koluta, Koluka) and Kauluta (Kaulubha), 
who inhabited the high mountain ranges of the Himiilaya 
in North India. Their names occur in one form or other in 
the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Visau Purana, Brhatsarhhita, 
Mudraraksasa and elsewhere in Sanskrit literature, while 
Ptolemy's KvXivhpivri (Kylindrine, VII. 1, 42) coincides in 
position with the country which some of these tribes formerly 

*' Refer to pp. 114 and 116, n. 12, where the Oaulas are mentioned. 

See Mr. Charles Grant's Gmctteer of the Central Provinces, p. 301 : 
" Among the people (of Nagpur) tradition, widespread though vague, is not 
wanting, pointing to a time far anterior to the Gonds, when throughout 
Deogarh Gauli chiefs held sway. The exploits and renown of these ancient 
chiefs are often referred to in the songs of the villagers. There are forts 
too, and tanks and temples, or remnants of such structures, evidently the 
handiwork of races preceding the Gonds. . . 'It was a Gaull, not a Gond king 
so our father told us,' this is the common answer to all questions respecting 
such reUos." The same legend is told about the fortifications of Ramtek, 
ibidem, p. 428. Compare in the Indian Antiquary, vol. I, pp. 204, 20.5, 
Mr. W. F. Sinclair's article on the " Gauli Kaj " in Khandesh and the 
Central Provinces : "1 think, therefore, that the most prohable explanation 
of the QauU RcIJ is this, — -that Gauli was the surname, or nickname, of a 
family of princes (and not of a nation) of Aryan race who established them- 
selves in the valleys of the Tapti and Narmada during the great migration 
southward which ended in the colonization of the Dekhan by the Aryan 
Marathas." Mr. Sinclair's remarks were criticized by Mr. W. Ramsay on 
p. 258 ; notice also Mr. Sinclair's query : " HemaiJ Pant and the Gauli Rajas" 
in the Indian Antiquary, vol. VI, pp. 277, 278, 

Captain A. Macintosh remarks in his " Account of the Mhadeo Kolies " 
in the Madras Journal of Literature and Science, vol. V (1837), pp. 261-282 : 
" There is a popular tradition among the people in this part of the country, 
that the Gursees were the original inhabitants of the Dukhan, and that they 
were displaced from the hilly tracts of the country by the race of GouUies or 
cowherds. These Goullies, it is said, subsequently rebelled against their law. 
ful prince, who detached an army that continued unceasing in their exer- 


occupied. The similarity of their name with that of the Kolis 
and of the Kulu district is therefore not accidental.*^ 


On the Kois, Konds, Kands, Gonds, &c. 

Much as the several tribes, whose names head this 
chapter, differ from one another in their manners, dialects 
and appearance, still there exists such a general resemblance 
between them, that, as has been pointed out by one of the 
greatest geographers of O'lr century, the late Karl Bitter, 
all these various races, however considerable may be the 
distances at which they live apart from one another, must be 

tions until they exterminated the entire race of Goullies . . It is a common 
practice with snch of the inhabitants of the plains as bury their dead, as- 
well as the hill tribes to erect thurgahs (tombs commonly of a single stone), 
near the graves of their parents. In the vicinity of some of the Koly 
villages and near the site of deserted ones, several of these thurgahs are 
occasionally to be seen, especially near the source of the Bhaum river. The 
people say they belonged to Gursees and Goullies of former times. The 
stones with many figures in relief roughly carved upon them, and one of 
these holding a drum ia his hand, and in the act of beating time on it, are 
considered to have belonged to the Gursees who are musicians by profession. 
The other thurgahs with a Saloonka (one of the emblems of Mhadeo) and ai. 
band of women forming a circle round it, with large pots on their heads, are 
said to be Goully monuments. This may be reckoned partly confirmatory of 
the tradition." 

Consult about the Gaulis also the Gazetteer of Aurangabad, pp. 136, 226, 

278, 279. 

'3 About references concerning Kulinda, Euluta, Koluha, Koluta and 
Kauluta consult Bothlingk and Roth's Sanskrit W'irterhueh. About Kaulubha 
see Lassen's Indisehe Altherthumskunde, vol. I, p. 57 (p. 75 second 
edition), and vol. II, pp. 206, 207. Lassen desires to substitute for Kauluta 
in Mudraraksasa Kaulubha especially on the authority of Plinius who 
in his Historia Naturalis, lib. VI, cap. 22, mentions that: "Ultra 
(Gano-em) siti sunt Modubae, Molindae. . . . Colubae, Orxulae, etc." In vol. 
I, p. 547 (661), Lassen speaks of the Kulindas : " Die Kulinda wohnten nach 
dem Epos im hbchsten Himalaya und zwar ostwarts bis zu den Ganges- 

Ptolemy assigns the sources of the VipaSa, Satadru, Yamuna and Ganga 
to the country Kylindrine : " 'Yirh Sh ras Bifida-ios Kal tov ZapdSpov Kal to5 
Aia/iovm Kol tov Tdjyov n KuXipSptyii. " The inhabitants of this district 
were the Kulindas. About Kylindrine compare also Sir A. Cunningham's 
Ancient Geography of India, pp. 136-138, where it is identified with Jiland- 
hara whose "antiquity is undoubted, as it is mentioned by Ptolemy as 


regarded as representatives of one and the same nation. 
They are still in occupation of nearly the whole area of that 
portion of the Indian continent which stretches from Khan- 
desh on the west to Gran jam on the east. 

Koi, Kui (contracted into Ku), Godu, Gauda, Gondu, 
Q-oandu, Gand, Koand, Kond (Kondh, Khond) or Kand 
(Khand) are all derivatives, as has already been shown, 
from the root Ko or Ku, mountain, so that their very name 
indicates a mountaineer. I have previously alluded to 
the peculiarity that both Lin^uals and Dentals are used 
in the formation of the derivatives of Ko. We need not, 

KuUndrine or Khdindrine, wWch should probably be corrected to Sulindrine, 
as the K and 2 are frequently interchanged in Greek manuscripts." 

Read also in H. H. Wilson's Vishnu-pwdna edited by F. Hall the 
notes on the Kulutas (Kolttkas), vol. II, p. 174, and Kulindas, p. 180. 
According to H. H. Wilson the Kulindas were mountaineers, see Fr. Johnson's 
Selections from the Mahabharata, p. 65. 

Varahanuhira mentions the Eulutaa in his Brhatsamhita, Chapter XIV, 
b1. 22 and 29 : 

DiSi paScimattarasyam Mandavya-Tukhara-Talahala-Madrah, 

ASmaka-Z^Miute-Lahada-Strlrajya-Nrsimha-Vanakhasthah. 22. 

AiSanyam Msrukanas taraj ya- PaSupala-Kira - KaSmlrah. 

Abhisara-Parada-Tangana-i^fi&fte-Sairindha-Vanara^trah. 29. 
Sir Alexander Cunningham considers the question of these hill tribes at 
length in the Archieological Survey of India, vol. XIV, pp. 125-135, 137-139 : 
" The origin of the Knnets, who form the bulk of the population in the 
valleys of the Bias, the Satlej and the Tons Rivers, has long engaged my 
attention ; and I believe that I have now solved the puzzle by identifying 
them with the Kunindas or Kulindas of early Hindu history. Under both of 
these forms their name is still preserved in the districts of Kulu on the Bias 
and Eunawar on the Satlej. The Vishnu Purana gives the name of Eulinda, 
which is supported by Ptolemy's Xulindrine, a district occupying the whole 
of the upper tract between the Bibasis or Bias River and the Ganges. It 
corresponds therefore most exactly with the Kunet District of the present 
day. Varaha Mihira places the Kunindas along with the Kashmiras, Abhi- 
earas, Kulutas, and Sairindhas, and makes their country one of his nine divi- 
sions of India. In another place he marks their position stiU more 
definitely as being to the east of Madras. {Madreso anyaseha Kauninda.) 
He also speaks of the King of the Kunindas. This was about A.D. 560, but 
we have coins of the King of Kuninda {Majnya Etmindasa), which date 
before the Christian era. For Kauninda the Markandeya Purana reads Kau- 
linda, which agrees with the Kulinda of the Vishnu Purana. It would 
seem therefore that these are only two readings of the same name. This 
conjecture is strongly supported by the fact that much more than half of 


therefore, he surprised to see that the" Telugu Kodu, e.g., 
corresponds to the Sanskrit Konda (in Kondabhatta) and 
Gonda, though konda in Telugu signifies only mountain and 
not mountaineer, which meaning is expressed by Kondarudu.*^ 

The principal Gond tribes call themselves Koitor. Telugu 
people regard the last syllable tor of this term as identical 
■with the word dora, master, which is not improbable, as the 
Kois affix this term to names, e.g., Bhima is called by them 
Bhimadur. The Kois of the Bhadracala and Eekapalli 
taluks in the Upper Grodavari district are called Doralu, 
(masters) only by their Mala and Madiga servants, for this 
title is otherwise generally conceded only to the Velama 

It is a well-known fact that a word often loses its original 
meaning when it is used as a proper name. Koi designates 

the population of Kulu is Kunet. ... I have now" traced the Kaunindas 
up to the third century B.C., when they were a rich and powerful people. 
But there is still earlier mention of the people in the Mahabharata, where 
the Kulindas are said to have been conquered by Arjuna. From the context 
Wilson rightly concluded that they were mountaineers and neighbours of 
the Traigarttas or people of Kangra. In the Vishnu Purina 1 find not only 
the Kulindas but also Kulindopatyakas or ' Kulindas dwelling along the foot 
of the hills,' which describes exactly the tract of plain country bordering 
the hills in which Srughna, the capital of the Kaunindas, was situated." 
About Kulu or Kullu see Sir W. W. Hunter's Imperial Gazetteer of India, 
vol. V, pp. 465-469: "The character of the hiU-men resembles that of 
moat other mountaineers in its mixture of simplicity, independence, and 
superstition. Polyandry still prevails in Seoraj, but has almost died out 
elsewhere. It consists simply of a community of wives amongst brothers, 
who hold all their other goods in common, and regard their women as 
labourers on the farm. The temples usually occupy picturesque sites, and 
are dedicated rather to local deities than to the greater gods of the Hindu 

Compare also Mr. J. W. McCrindle's Ancient India as described ly 
Ptolemy, pp. 105, 109, 110. 

*' The Teluga people call the Gonds, Konda or Kands, Koya, Koyavadu 
(pi. KOyavandlu), Kodu (pi. Kodnlu), Gondu, Kondarudu, &c. We read in 
Lieutenant Macpherson's Report upon the Khonds of the Districts of Ganjam 
and Cuttack, Calcutta, 1842, p. 20, §42, the following account: "The 
Hindu name for this people which we have adopted, Khond, in the plural 
Khondooloo, means mountaineer, from the Teloogoo word signifying a UU. 
Their sole native appellation south of the Mahanuddee is Koinga or Kwinga, 
which may be a corruption of Kulinga, which, by the exchange of convertible 
letters may be Pulinda, meaning in Sanskrit and thence in Tamil o bar- 


thus a mountaineer, but this radical meaning of the term 
was forgotten by that tribe when some of them had settled 
permanently in the plains. The Malvah or Grutta-Kois 
(Hill-Kois) are in consequence distinguished from the Sassi- 
Kois (Plain-Kois). The Khonds, on the other hand, call their 
own country Kui Bina or Kui Pruti, and that of the Uriyas 
Sassi Dina. 

The Kois worship as deities Katuradu, Adamaraju, Kor- 
raraju (who governs the tigers), Kommalamma, Sarlamma, 
and others. The five Pandava brothers, especially Arjuna 
and Bhima, are highly revered. They have imitated the 
step of Bhima in their dance. The Kois or Koyas in the 
Nizam's Dominions preserve a legend according to which 
they are descended from Bhima and a wild superhuman 
woman whom he met in the woods. ^^ 

larian, a savage mountaineer . , . They employ as distinctive epithets of their 
race, the terms — Subboro and Mullaro, the latter signifying hill people, from 
a root common to Tamul and Teloogoo, the Khonds designate the alpine 
portions of Oriasa solely hy its Hindu name (from the root) ' Malwa, ' 
meaning highlands. The Hindu people they call Sassi, a word whose 
signification is not ascertained. The Khonds, who inhabit the mountains 
are styled Maliah Koinga, those of the low country Sassi Koifiga." 

The fifth volume of the Calcutta Review (January — June 1846) contains 
on p. 26 the following note: " Respecting the name of Khonds, Lieutenant 
Hill remarks, that, in their own language, ' they call themselves Knee. A 
single Khond is called Kwinga. By Uriyas, they are called Khonds and 
by the TeUngas, Kodulu and often KoduwanQlu or hill people." According 
to Sir W. W. Hunter in his Orissa, vol. II, p. 71 : "The word Kandh, 
like Mali and the tribal names of other hill tribes, means in the aboriginal 
languages ' mountaineer.' " 

About the Gands or Gandas consult Mr. Charles Grant's Gazetteer of the 
Central Provinces of India, pp. 100, 103, 2i7, 251, 412, 413, and 457. They 
cultivate some land in Ealgarh, Laira and Sambalpur, but they seem not to 
be regarded as good cultivators. The population of Laira is chiefly agri- 
cultural and consists of Gonds, Khonds and Gandas. On the other hand the 
Gandas are generally classified as weavers. Their number in the Central 
Provinces amounts to 250,133. 

Koinga is the plural of Koi, nga being the plural termination in the 
Kond language. A similar termination exists in the Koi language on the 
Godavarl, e.g., mdra, tree, pi. marlngu ; goggodi, cock, goggodingu ; handi, 
carriage, bandingu ; goddeli, axe, goddelingu. 

" See the Rev. John Cain's articles on " The Bhadrachallam and Reka- 
palli Talukas, Godavarl District," in the Indian Antiquary, vol. V, pp. 301- 


The four tribes to whom the title Koitor is applied are 
the Raj Goad, Raghuwal, Padal and Dholi, and occasionally 

303, 357-359 ; vol. VIII, pp. 33-36, 219-221 ; and vol. X, pp. 259-264. 
Read ibidem, vol. V, pp. 358, 359 : "Formerly on a certain day in the year 
the Eoi men of each village were driven into the jungle by the women 
to hunt, and were not allowed to return unless they brought home some 
game, — a smaU bird, or even a rat, being enough to give them the right 
to be welcomed back. This practice is still carried on jby the Eois in ths 
Bastar country, and also by many in the Nizam's territory. Mr. Van- 
stavern, whilst boring for coal at Beddadanolu, was visited on that day by 
all the Koi women of the village, dressed up in their lords' clothes, and they 
told him that they had that morning driven their husbands to the forest to 
bring home game of some kind or other. Mr. Vanstavem also states that 
the Kois round Beddadanolu do not eat the goat annually offered for a 
prosperous harvest, but leave it to itseU in the jungle tied up to a tree. 

' ' The Kois aay that the f oUowing gods and goddesses were appointed to be 
worshipped bj' the Sudras : — Muttelamma, MaridimahdlakshmT, Poturdzu, and 
Korrazulu, and the following were to receive adoration from the Kois : — Eom- 
malnmma, Kdtdradu, Adamarazu. The goddess Mamili or Lsle must be propi- 
tiated early in the year, or else the crops will undoubtedly fail ; and she is 
said to be very partial to human victims . . . All the Kois seem to hold in 
great respect the Pdndma brothers, especially Arjuna and Bhlma. The wild 
dogs or dhols are regarded as the (fete or messengers of these brothers, and 
the long black beetles which appear in large numbers at the beginniug of the 
hot weather are called the Pandava £ock of goats. Of course they would on 
no account attempt to kiU a dhol, even though it should happen to attack 
their favourite calf, and they even regard it imprudent to interfere with 
these datas when they wish to feast upon their cattle." In vol. VIII, p. 34, 
we read : " They say their dance is copied from Bhlma' s march after a 
certain enemy. There is no Koi temple in any village near here, and the 
Eois are seldom if ever to be found near a Hindu temple." 

In the Jeypore territory of the Vizagapatam district a similar practice 
as the abovementioned prevails. The men are often away for days in 
search of game, and if they return with none of an evening , their women 
pelt them with cow-dung. 

The Sistorical and Descriptive Sketch of S.B. the Nizairi's Dominions 
remarks in vol. I, pp. 325, 326, about the Kois as follows : — " The Eoyas or 
Eois (45,300) are an aboriginal race, found chiefly in the Khamam District 
(39,990). They belong to the same family as the G-onds and the other primi- 
tive races of Central and Southern India. The Kois say that ' they are the 
descendants of Bhimadur, and the local tradition is that when Bhimadur 
accompanied his brother Dharma Eagu to his forest exile he one day went 
hunting in the jungle, and there met a wild woman of the woods, whom he 
fell in love with and married. The fruit of their union was the Koi people. 
The tradition further states that this wild woman was not a human being.' 
The language spoken by them is similar in some respects to that of the 
Oonds. Like the latter they are noted for their truthful habits . . . The 
fruit of the Ippa tree is dried and reduced to powder. This made into cakes 
and porridge forms their favourite and principal food for the greater part of 


the Kolam. The Marias who are likewise styled Koitur, 
represent perhaps now the purest type of the Gonds.*^ 

In ancient times these people occupied a much larger 
portion of India than they do now. Their name appears in 
places far distant from one another, in the north, e.g., in 
Gonda or Gauda in Oudh, in Khandwa in the Central Pro- 
vinces, in Gonddl in Kathiawar, in Khandesh and Khanddla 
in Bombay, in Gondvdna in Central India, while Khandagiri 
and EJiandapara testify to their presence in Orissa. Even 

the year. They also distil great quantities of an intoxicatiag drink from the 
flowers; they mU eat the flesh of every animal, not even rejecting that of 
the cow. They seldom remain long in one place, as soon as the productive 
powers of the soil are exhausted they move to another spot and make a fresh 
clearing. They have no caste, their religion consists of belief in one 
Supreme Being, they also worship the spirits of the mountains and a divinity 
who protects them from the ravages of tigers. They regard heaven as a 
large and strong fort where there is an abundance of rice stored up for those 
who are permitted to enter. Hell is a place in which an iron cow con- 
tinually gnaws the flesh of the unfortunate persons detained there. "Widows' 
remarriages are allowed. Their wedding ceremonies are exceedingly 
simple ; the betrothed couple have a triangular mark placed on their 
foreheads, they then kneel together, and the ceremony is completed by 
pouring water over the heads of both. The personal appearance of both 
sexes is the reverse of prepossessing." 

** The Gazetteer of the Central Provinces of India, edited by Mr. Charles 
Grant, contains on pp. 137 and 500 the following statements : " The Marias, 
or as they are called towards the north the Kohiturs . . are in aJl probability the 
purest type of Gond. It is worthy of note that in villages bordering upon 
the more cultivated tracts the change of name from Maria to Kohitur, then 
to Jangli G-ond, and then to Gond, can be seen in progress, and it is easy to 
imagine that a well-to-do Maria family calling themselves Gond might in 
two or three generations adopt the more fashionable style of Raj Gond 
(p. 137). . Gotes and Kois, or as they are commonly called Gotewars and 
Koiwars— the termination war being a Telugu affix, signifying person or man 
— are the aborigines of the country (Upper Godavari) . Although almost 
identical in customs and in language, they do not eat together or inter- 
marry, the Kols claiming superiority over the Gotes. The proper name for 
the Kois is ' Koitor,' and this is what they call themselves. By the 
Telingas they are called Koidhoras, the word ' dhora ' meaning gentleman 
or sahib. This error has probably arisen from the last syllable of ' Koitor ' 
havin g been taken for ' dhora,' owing to the similarity of sound. The 
Kols, where they come into contact with the Telinga population, have 
adopted many of their customs. . The Got6 keeps more aloof from civili- 
sation; but . . the customs of the two races are very similar, and both belong 
to the Gond family (p. 500)." Compare also Indian Antiquary, vol. VIII, 
p. 34 : " The custom of calling the Kois doralu {dora = lord, Tel.) has 


now these tribes are found in all the Presidencies of 
Bombay, Madras, and Bengal, though their chief abode is 
in the Central Provinces.*' 

The Uriyas aspirate the final d, hence the name is often 
spelt Kondh or Kandh, but this pronunciation is only local. 

"Wherever the Gonds, Konds, or Kands are found in their 
own homesteads, far from strangers, they have preserved 
their national virtues, among which honesty, fidelity, and 
hospitality occupy a prominent position. Like many other 
wild tribes they are brave, but they are also cruel and very 
superstitious. In those parts of the country where they 
dwell, the simple-minded Gronds are feared as dangerous 
sorcerers and intimate friends of the evil spirits. 

About the Religious Doctrines of the Khonds Captain Mac- 
pherson makes the following remarks : " There is one Supreme 

been traced by some (Central Promnees Gazetteer, p. 50O) to the ending 
tor in the word Koitor. This has always seemed to me (Eev. Mr. Cain) 
rather doubtful, as this honoriiic affix is not only conceded to the Kois, hut 
also to several other castes, e.g. , the (true) Vellamma caste, and to all the 
most influential natives in the independent or semi-independent neighbour- 
ing states." The Gonds in the Singbhum District are called Dorowas 
or ]!faiks. See Dalton's Ethnology, p. 277, and Grant's Gazetteer, p. 137. 
Elsewhere in Narasingpur are found the Dhur Gonds which term appears 
to be identical with the Dhurwe or Naik Gonds. I wonder what is the 
meaning of the term Dhur (Dhurwe or Dorowas), and whether it is con- 
nected with the word dora. 

About the Marias consult also the Report of the Dependency of Bustar by 
Deputy Commissioner C. L. R. Glasfurd, pp. 46-52 : " 104. The Marias 
and Jboorias, I should say, are, strictly speaking, a sub-division of the true 
Gond family." 

*' See Lieutenant Macpherson, p. 13, § 13: " The Khonds are now seen, in 
" both of these situations, within the following Hi-defined limits. Upon the 
" east they appear scattered over the wilder tracts of the Ganjam district 
" bordering upon the Chilka Lake, and are seen in that qua,rter at a few 
" points, upon the coast of the Bay of Bengal. They are found, on the 
' ' north-west, on the confines of Gondwana, in longitude 83°, while on the 
" west, they extend within the unsurveyed frontier of Berar. They are 
" found as far south as Bustar in latitude 19° 40', while the Zemindary of 
" Palconda is like that of Kunnapoor possessed by a Khond Chief on the 
" south-east, they are replaced on the limits of the Souradah and Moherry 
" districts in Ganjam, by the Sourah race, which henceforward occupies 
" the eastern acclivities of the Ghauts to the Godavery. To the north, 
" fifty miles beyond the Mahanuddee, in the meridian of Boad, they are 
" succeeded by the Kole people. On the north-east, they are found high 



" Being, self-existing, the Source of Good, and Creator of the 
" Universe, of the inferior gods, and of man. This divinity 
" is called in some districts, Boora Pennu, or the God of 
" Light ; in others, Bella Pennu, or the Sun God ; and the 
" sun and the place from which it rises beyond the sea are 
" the chief seats of his presence. Boora Pennu, in the 
" beginning, created for himself a consort, who became Tari 
" Pennu, or the Earth Goddess, and the Source of Evil. 
" He afterwards created the Earth. As Boora Pennu walked 
" upon it with Tari, he found her wanting in affectionate 
" compliance and attention as a wife, and resolved to create 
" from its substance, a new being, Man, who should render to 
" him the most assiduous and devoted service, and to form 
" from it also every variety of animal and vegetable life 
" necessary to man's existence. Tari was filled with jealousy, 
" and attempted to prevent his purpose, but succeeded only 
" so far as to change the intended order of creation. . , Tari 
" Pennu then placed her hands over the earth, and said, 

' ' in Cuttack, while Sourahs (not identified with the southern race) there 
" inhabit the inferior ridges of the Ghauts." (Compare his " Account of the 
Religion of the Khonds " in the Journal of t/ie Royal Asiatic Sooiety, vol. 
XIII, pp. 220, 221.) 

Compare also Papers relating to the A-boriginal Tribes of the Central 
Provinces left in MSS., by the late Rev. Stephen Hialop, missionary of the 
Free Church of Scotland at Nagpore : edited, with notes and preface, bj' 
R. Temple, C.S.I., 1866, pp. 3 and 4 : " The name of Gond, or Gund, seems 
" to be a form of Kond, or Kund, the initial gutturals of the two words being 
" interchangeable. . Both forms are most probably connected with Konda — 
" the Teloogoo equivalent for a mountain — and therefore wiU signify ' the hill 
" people.' And no designation could be more appropriate to the localities 
" which the majority of them inhabit. Though they are also found residing 
" in the villages of the plains along with the more civilized Hindus, yet 
" they chiefly frequent the mountain ranges l}-ing between 1 8° 40' and 23° 40' 
" north latitude, and between 78° and 82| east longitude. This tract some- 
' ' what corresponds with the old Mahomedan division of Gondwana, but differs 
' ' from it in not reaching so far to the east and in extending considerably 
" further towards the south-east. The Moghul geographers seem to have 
" included with the Gonds of Nagpore the KOls on their east frontier, and to 
" have been ignorant of the relationship between them and the inhabitants 
" of Bustar. In the north, Gonds are met with about Saugor and near the 
" source of the Hasdo ; on the east, they cross that river into Sarguja, where 
' ' thoy border on the Kfils, and are found with Konds and Uriyas in Nowa- 


" ' Let these beings you have made exist ; you shall create no 
" more.' Whereupon Boora caused an exudation of sweat to 
" proceed from his hody, collected it in his hand, and threw 
" it around, saying : ' To all that I have created,' and thence 
" arose love, and sex, and the continuation of species. The 
" creation was perfectly free from moral and physical evil. 
" Man enjoyed free intercourse with the Creator. They lived 
" without labour, .in perfect harmony and peace. They went 
" unclothed. . .The lower animals were all perfectly innocuous. 
" The Earth Groddess, highly incensed at the love shown 
" towards man thus created and endowed, broke into open 
" rebellion against Boora, and resolved to blast the loss of his 
" new creature by the introduction into the world of every 
" form of moral and physical evil. . . A few indiA^duals of 
" mankind entirely rejected evil, and remained sinless ; the 
" rest all yielded to its power, and fell into a state of uni- 
" versal disobedience to the Deity, and fierce strife with one 
" another. Boora immediately deified the sinless few without 
" their sufEering death. . . Upon the corrupted mass of man- 

" gudda, Kareal, and Kharond or Kalahandi ; in the south, they form the 
" mass of the population of Bustar and a portion of the inhahitants of 
" Jeypur (in the Madras Presidency), while they occupy the hills along the 
" left bank of the G-odavery about Nirmul ; and on the west, they are inter- 
" mingled with the Hindus of Berar for 30 miles from the right bank of the 
' ' Wurdah, and, along the KOrs, extend along the hills both north and south 
' ' of the Narbadda to the meridian of Hindia, where they give place to the 
" Bhils and Nahals. 

" In such a large extent of country, as might be expected, they are di- 
' ' Tided into various branches, and distinguished by specific names. The 
' ' classification adopted by themselves is into twelve and a half castes or 
" classes, in imitation of the Hindus. These are — Kaj Gond, Eaghuwal, 
" Dadave, Katulya, Padal, Dholi, Ojhyal, Thotyal, Koilabhutal, Koikopal, 
" Kolam Madyal, and an inferior sort of Padal as the half caste. The first 
" four with the addition, according to some of the Kolam, are comprehended 
" under the name of Koitor — the Gond, par excellence. This term, in its 
" radical form of Koi, occurs over a wide area, being the name given to the 
" Meria-saorificing aborigines of Orissa and to the jungle tribes skirting the 
" east bank of the Godavery from the apex of the delta as far up nearly as 
" the mouth of the Indrawati. Its meaning is evidently associated with 
" the idea of a hill ; the Persian name of which, Koh, approaches it more 
" closely than even the Teloogoo, Kondd. I need scarcely, therefore, add 


" kind, Boora Permu inflicted high moral penalties, and. , 
" entirely withdrew his face and his immediate guardianship 
"from mankind. He made all who had fallen subject to 
" death. . .Universal discord and war prevailed. . .Diseases and 
" death came upon all creatures ; snakes became venomous.. . 
" Man. .sank into a state of abject suffering and degrada- 
" tion. .Meanwhile, Boora and Tari contended for superiority 
" in fierce conflict ; their terrible strife raging throughout 
" the earth, the sea and the sky ; their chief weapons being 
" mountains, meteors and whirlwinds. Up to this point, the 
'' Khonds hold the same belief ; but from it, they divide into 
" two sects directly opposed upon the great question of the 
"issue of the contest betweem Boora and his rebel consort. . 
" The sect of Boora believe that he proved triumphant in the 
"contest, and, as an abiding sign of the discomfiture of 
" Tari, imposed the cares of childbirth upon her sex.. .The 
" sect of Tari hold, upon the other hand, that she re- 
" mained unconquered, and still maintains the struggle with 
" various success." *' I give this interesting story of the 

" that it has no connection with the interrogative Koi, as some have sup- 
" posed, nor has Koitorany relation to the Sanskrit Kskatrii/a, as suggested by 
" Sir R. Jenkins. Though there are a few of the more wealthy Koitora who 
"would gladly pass themselves off as Rajputs, yet the great majority of 
" those known by that name resent, with no small vehemence, the imputation 
' ' of belonging to any portion of the Hindu community. The sacred thread 
" of the twice-born, instead of being an object of ambition, is to them a 
" source of defilement." 

The passage on the Gonds and Khonds in C. Lassen's Indische Alterthiims- 
kunde, vol. I, pp. 426-432 (or pp. 373-78), should be consulted as well as 
those in the Eev. M. A. Sherring's Hindu Tribes and Castes, vol. II, pp. 134- 
152, and vol. Ill, pp. 200 and 206, and Colonel Dalton's Ethnology of Bengal, 
pp. 275-304. In the second volume of H. H. Wilson's Vishnupurdna 
published by F. Hall, p. 163, Shanda is read instead of Khanda. 

*' Lieutenant Maopherson gives in his report on p. 61 a list of the Khond 
deities and divides them into national and local deities : " In the first class 
are (1) Bera Pennoo or the Earth god ; (2) Bella Pennoo, the Sun god, and 
Danzoo Pennoo, the Moon god ; (3) Sunde Pennoo, the god of Limits ; 
(4) Loha Pennoo, the Iron god or god of Arms ; (5) Joogah Pennoo, the god 
of Small-pox ; (6) Nadzoo Pennoo, or the VUlage deity ; the universal 
genius loci ; (7) Sora Pennoo, the Hill god, Jori Pennoo, the god of Streams, 
and Gossa Pennoo, the Forest god; (8) Moonda Pennoo, the Tank god; 


creation of the world and the fall of man which Macpherson 
ascribes to the Khonds. It reminds one, however, in many 
of its features of the Biblical Accounts, and fills one with 
wonder that such an uncivilised Indian tribe as the Khonds 
should have so beautiful a legend of their own. 

In the human sacrifices which these tribes offered up in 
days not long gone by, and which even now they have 
not altogether abandoned, they displayed an indescribable 

(9) Soogoo Pennoo or Sidrojoo Pennoo, the god of Fountains ; (10) Pidzoo 
Pennoo, th.e god of Eain ; (11) Pilamoo Pennoo, the god of Hunting ; 
(12) god of Births." Lieutenant (Captain) Macpherson's Report was re- 
printed under the title of " An Account of the Religious Opinions and 
Observances of the Khonds of Goomsur and Boad ' ' in the Journal of the 
Royal Asiatic Society, vol. VII (1843), pp. 172-199, and " An Account of the 
Ghonds inOrissa" in vol. XIII, 1852, pp. 216-274 of the same journal. 
Besides Bura and Tari there are (pp. 226-228) " inferior gods divisible into 
two classes, distinguished by their origin, their attributes, and the scope 
of their duties and authority. The gods of the first class sprang from Boora 
and Tari. . . 1, Pidzu Pennn,the god of Rain. 2, Boorbi Pennu, the goddess 
of new Vegetation and First Fruits. 3, Peteri Pennu, the God of increase. 
4, Klambi Pennu, the God of the Chase. S, Loha Pennu, the God of war. 
6, Sundi Pennu, the God of Boundaries. 7, Dinga Pennu, the Judge of the 
dead . . . The third class of inferior deities are sprung from the Gods of the 
first two classes. They are the strictly minor and local deities of the Khonds . . 
The following are the chief of this class of gods. I, Nadzu Pennu, the Village 
God. 2, Soro Pennu, the HiU God. 3, Jori Pennu, the God of Streams. 4, 
Tozu Pennu, the Family or House God. 5, Mounda Pennu, the Tank God. 6, 
Sooga Pennu, the God of Fountains. 7, Gossa Pennu, the Forest God. 
8, Koosti Pennu, the God of Ravines. 9, Bhora Pennu, the God of New Fruits, 
produced on trees or shrubs." These two accounts differ in some respects. 
On pp. 243-256 : the worship of Tari Pennu is described : " In the worship 
paid to Tari Pennu by her sect, the Chief rite is human sacrifice. It is 
celebrated as a public oblation by tribes, branches of tribes or villages both 
at social festivals held periodically, and when special occasions demand 
extraordinary propitiations. And besides these social offerings, the rite is 
performed by individuals to avert the wrath of Tari from themselves and 
their families." According to Mr. Grant (p. 106; the Gonds worship as a 
rule only " Bar4 Deva and D614 Deva." 

Colonel Dalton says in his Ethnology of Bengal, on p. 281 : " The 
Gonds are, however, found to have one common object of worship, called, 
according to the linguistic peculiarities of the locality, Bdra Deo, B&da 
Deo or Badiil Pen. Pen and Deo mean the same, but the signification of 
B<ira or B4da I am not sure of. Major Macpherson teUs us that Brira Pen, 
the Kandh god, means the ' god of light . .' I was credibly informed that the 
Gonds of Sirguja formerly offered human sacrifices to B(ira Deo.'' 

Mr. Glasfurd, 48-52, remarks about the religion of the tribes in Bustar 
as follows : "The Mooreas, Bhuttras, Dhakurs, Gudwas, Marias, &c., all 


atrocity. Tet, as an excuse for them, it ought not to be 
forgotten that their peculiar ideas about right and wrong 
made them believe that they had acquired a right of dispos- 
ing of their Meriah victims, as they had bought and paid 
for them. The great goddess of the Earth, their principal 
divinity, could only be propitiated by human blood, to grant 
good pastures for their flocks and rich crops for their own 
support. The buffalo was by some Khonds sacrificed instead 
of the human being. These tribes depend for their living 
mainly on the produce of the earth which they tUl, for 
besides hunting they do not follow any other pursuit. 
Trading, for instance, is unknown to them. 

woreliip Dunteshwaree, or, as slie is Bometimes called, ' Maolee,' with ' Matha 
Deyee,' ' Bhungarma,' or ' DhoUa Devee,' ' Gam Devee,' DongurDeo,' and 
Bheem. The higher castes worship ' Dunteshwaree ' and ' Matha Devee ' with 
the other well-known deities of the Hindoo Pantheon . . . She is the same 
as Bhowanee or ' Kelee ' . . . Temples to Dunteshwaree or Maolee exist all 
over the vicinity of Jugdulpore and Duutewara. The temples to ' Matha 
Devee ' are, perhaps, as numerous, if not more so. They are easily 
recognised by swings in front of the shed erected over the semblance of the 
goddess, which is generally a stone daubed with red, although I have more 
than once seen her represented by a grotesquely-carved figure dressed as a 
female, with a female attendant on each side . . . When small-pox appears 
this person (her Poojareei becomes of great importance. . . Bhungarma, or 
DhoUa Devee is said to be the sister of Matha Devee. She also has a swing 
put up before her temple, and is worshipped when cholera appears ; but as 
smaU-pox is much more frequent in its visits, her worship is much neglected 
. . . The Jhoorias, Mooreas, and Marias do worship the above-mentioned 
gods, especially towards Narayenpoor, TJbujmard, Kootroo, cfec. The 
peculiar deity of the Jhoorias is ' Unga Deo ;' he is represented by a piece of 
wood fastened to a framework made of four sticks. . . It has been the 
custom for the Bustar Rajahs to have a duplicate of the Jhooria ' Unga Deo ' 
kept at Bustar. Whenever any epidemic appears, the Unga Deo at Nara- 
yenpoor is called for, and the duplicate sent in its stead. Sacrifices are 
made to the new arrival, and he is requested to state whether the cholora or 
the small-pox, as the case may be, will soon disappear . . . The Marees of 
'Ubujmard' caU their god 'Pen:' this word literally meanS god. They 
have several gods, which resemble the ' Unga Deo ' of the Jhoorias. The 
most noted of those in the Maree country under Kootroo are ' Deda Maida ' 
at Kolnar and ' Koolung Mora ' at the village of Dewaloor ; they are both 
represented by logs of wood. . . The ' Deda Maida ' at Kolnar is the favo- 
rite deity of these wild people, and in the month of May there is a festival 
at Kolnar, at which all the Marees from far and near congregate and spend 
three days in dancing, and drinking, and singing. Throughout the Depen- 
dency the grossest ignorance and superstition prevail, and hold the minds of 


Contact with Hindas more Mgbly civilised exercised 
a remarkably deteriorating influence on the Gond tribes, 
who soon began to lose their own virtues and sink to a 
lower social condition. Harsh treatment, coupled with spite- 
ful scorn, renders men callous and demoralises. Ignorant 
and uncivilised aborigines when they are under the influence 
of civilised and unscrupulous persons are especially subject 
to such degeneration. The Candalas are an illustration of 
this assertion. 

They were probably the first Gaudian tribe whom the 
Aryan invaders reduced to abject servitude, and who 
became thus the prototype of the lowest Indian helots, which 
condition they share with the Dravidian Pariahs. The 
word Canddla is evidently a modification of Kandala, a 
tribe mentioned by Ptolemy.*' 

Manu stigmatises a Candala as the offspring of a Sudra 
man and a Brahman woman, which definition, fostering no 

the people, from the highest to the lowest, in miserable thraldom. The 
simple and unsophisticated Gond tribes are believed to be expert necro- 
mancers, ' and on the most intimate footing with evil spirits.' Considering 
their secluded position from civilized life, their gross ignorance, and the 
soUtary jungles they live in, it is, perhaps, not to be wondered at that the 
people invariably impute their misfortunes to witchcraft." 

Compare also the article " Gonds and Kurkus," by Mr. W. Eamsay in 
the Indian Antiquary, vol. I, pp. 128, 129 : " The Gond admits none of the 
Hindu divinities into his pantheon, and is moreover bound on occasions of 
death to slay a cow and pour its blood on the grave to ensure peace and rest 
for the manes of the departed. In my experience, Gonds almost always 
bury their dead. . . The Gond deities are numerous : hill tops deified are 
favorite objects of adoration." Mr. Ramsay treats on the same subject 
on pp. 348-50, and he observes : " It is worthy of remark that one of the 
ceremonies after a death consists in killing a cow and sprinkling its blood 
over the grave ; in default of this it is said that the spirit of the departed 
refuses to rest, andietuxns upon earth to haunt its relatives in life." Allu- 
sions to the Gonds are also contained in the Indian Antiquary, yo\. Ill, 
p. 224 ; vol. VI, p. 233 ; vol. IX, p. 140, and vol. X. p. 321. 

Kead also the remarks on the Khonds in Sir W. "W. Hunter's Orissa, 
vol. II, pp. 67-102, 283-8, and the article " On the Uriya and Kondh 
Population of Orissa" by Lieut. J. P. Frye, in the Journal of the Royal 
Asiatic Society, vol. XVII (I860), pp. 1-38. 

M See p. 32. 


doubt the prejudices of caste by assigning to tbe detested 
offspring of such persons a despised rank, does not explain 
the ethnological position of the original Oandalas.^" The 
late Rev. Dr. John Wilson was, so far as I know, the first 
to recognize in the Oandalas the Kandaloi of Ptolemy.^' 
The name of the Candalas has great similarity with that 
of the Rajput Oandels (whose Gond origin is an admitted 
fact), Oandas, Candaks, and Candani-s, and others. The 
Candalas prevail in the Gaudian districts of the North, for, 
of the 1,779,047 Oandalas who appear in the Indian Census 
report, 173,532 live in Assam, 1,576,076 in Bengal, and 
29,489 in the Central Provinces. 

Konda is even now a name common to Candalas, so that 
their original identity with the Gond race is likewise sug- 
gested by this circumstance. 

I must also not omit to allude here to the Kuntalas (Kon- 
talas), Kundalas and other tribes who are mentioned in 
Sanskrit writings. The famous capital Kimdina (Kundina- 
pura) where Bhisma or Bhismaka held his court, so celebrated 

'"' Compare ManavadharmaSastra, X, 12 : 

Sudradayogavah ksatta. candalas cadhamo nrnam. 
VaiSyarajanyaTiprasu jayante varnasafikarah. 

About the Candalas compare also Mahdbhdrata, AnuSasanaparva, 2621, 
and J. Muir'a Sanskrit Texts, vol. I, p. 481. 

Consult also the Memoirs of the Origin of Slaves, by Eamappa Karmk of 
Barkur, translated and annotated by Mr. Joseph Saldanha, Court Sheristadar 
at Mangalore, and printed by Dr. Shortt in the TV Part of The Rill Ranges 
of Southern India, pp. 15-37; p. 17 : "Sub -division of Chandalas . . The 
Chandalas are subdivided as follows : a. Hambatar or Fammadas, b. Panar, 
c. Hasalar, d. Paravar, e. Belar or Medarar, /. Battadar, g. Merar, 
h. Karajar, i. Asadi, j. Holeya, J. Madiga, I. Bakada with three 
Bub-divisions, I. Chnjana Bakada, II. Turibina Bakada, III. Goddina 
Bakada, m. NuUga, n. Kappata Koragar, u. Soppina Koragar. (This class 
speak a language peculiar to themselves which they won't give out under 
any circumstances.)" 

The Hindu Law recognizes fifteen different classes of Slaves or Candalas. 

'1 Read Dr. John Wilson's Indian Caste, vol. I, p. 57 : "A Chandala, the 
lowest of mortals, whose tribe is recognized by Ptolemy as that of the Kandali 
or Gondali, on the river Tapti, perhaps the Gonds — adjoining the Fhyllitae 
of the same author, identified as the BhilU — or the Gcmdhalis, still a wander- 
ing tribe of the Maharashtra." 


by his beautiful daughter Eukmini, may perhaps be con- 
nected with the aboriginal Gond race. 

Khande Rdva (Khandoba) or Khandoji is, like Bhairava, 
an incarnation of Siva and much worshipped by the lower 
classes in the Maratha country. In that district he is every 
where revered as a house-hold deity and numerous temples 
are erected for his worship. The shepherds claim him as their 
tutelary deity. He is most frequently represented as riding 
on horseback, attended by a dog and accompanied by his wife 
Makara, another form of Parvati. As he generally carries 
in his hand a big sword, his name is popularly derived from 
hhande, sword. I regard this explanation as very problem- 
atic, and, taking him as a representative national deity, 
prefer to connect his name with the aboriginal Khand people 
of Khandesh and its neighbourhood. It is now perhaps 
impossible to ascertain whether his worship is connected 
with the existence of a deified Khand leader. No historical 
record on this topic has come to us. I explain the common 
term Khandoba as originating from Klianda (khande) -j- ha, 
a famQiar Marathi form for hapa, father ; compare Ganesa 
Qanoha, Mahisa Mdhsohd, Vitthala Vithobd, Viuayaka Vinobd, 


'^ Atout "Konda, a name common to Chandalas," see Rev. W. Reeve'a 
Canareseand English Dictionary ,Te-naei by Dr. Sanderson, p. 326. The name 
of Khande Rdva is in Molesworth's Marathi amd English Dictionary (second 
edition), p. 193, explained as : " ig^^J^, m. (jg^ Sword, and ^j^) An 
incarnation of Shiva." The word jg^ is peculiarly enough not found in this 
Marathi dictionary in the sense of sword, though seven different meanings of 
this word are given on p. 191 and nine various renderings of jgj^are 
contained on p. 202, without, however, mentioning that of sword. The 
Hindustani \h\^-khdndd, sword, is explained as a derivation of the Sanskrit 
j^-kkadya. Ehanda in the Uriya language signifies a sword. Even il this 
etymology is correct, it is not at all necessary that the term khande in 
Khande Rdva has the same origin. Many Indian gods carry, like Khandoid 
a sword, hut are not called after it. 

The Hindu Pantheon by Edward Moor, F.R.S., Madras, 1864, contains 
on pp. 285, 286, an account of Khandoba : " What I have to relate of 
Kandeh Rao is gathered chiefly .from Poona Brahmans ; who state, that Siva 
became incarnate in his personage for the purpose of destroying an 



It is perhaps worth mentioning here that the Gaudian 
Koragas, of whom I shall speak in the next chapter, place 
on a hillock a stone, which they worship, while most of the 

oppreasive giant, named Mani-mal, at a place in the Camatic, called 
Themer. Farvaii^ they say, under the name of Malsma, accompanied her 
lord, who appeared as a man clothed in green. .: he is generally represented 
■with Parvati on horseback, attended frequently by a dog. The giant Mani- 
mal made a most desperate defence against Kandeh Rao's attack, but was 
at length slain: whereupon all the oppressed subjects of this giant paid 
adoration to Fandek Rao, to the number, as the story goes, of seven Kroor of 
people, whence this Avatara is called Tehl-hhut : Yehl, in a dialect of the 
Camatic, being seven, and Khut, or Koot, being a Mahrata pronunciation 
of Kroor (100,00,000), a hundred lakh, or ten millions." About Khapdoba 
consult also Rev. Stevenson's article " On the Modem Deities worshipped 
by the Hindus in the Bekkan " in i\ie Journal of the Mo-yal Asiatic Society , 
vol. VII, pp. 105-112. " The first in order of the modem deities is Khan- 
doba, as he is usually termed by way of respect, or more properly Khande 
Eao. This name may have been given him from his breaking the hosts of 
his enemies, or from his wearing a particular kind of sword called in 
Marathi ' khanda.' His Sanskrit name is Mallari, which has been given him 
from the Daitya he vanquished. This name is corrupted into Mahhar. 
There is a legend relative to this deity called the Mallari Mahatmya, which 
professes to belong to the Kshetra Kanda of the Brahmanda Parana. It 
is a dialogue between Parvati and Mahadeva, the latter of whom merely 
repeats what Sanat Kumara narrated formerly to the sages engaged in per- 
forming austerities in the Naimisha forest. The scene of this romance is laid 
at a low range of hills called in Sanskrit the Mani Chuda (jewel cliff) and in 
Marathi, Khade Pathar (table-land above the cliff). The town of Jejurl, 
which lies about thirty miles east from Poonah, is built close to its western 
extremity. At this place, according to the legend, certain Brahmans were 
interrupted in their devotions by a Daitya called MaUa, who with his brother 
Mani and a great army. . .beat and ill-used the Brahmans . . .In Sir John Mal- 
colm's account of the Bhils, in the first volume of the Transactions »/ the Royal 
Asiatic Society, mention is made of a powerful tribe of these freebooters, 
who derive their origin from a place called Toran MaUa. Their remotest 
ancestor, in the same account, is said to have murdered a Brahman, and 
carried offi his daughter ; and one of their patriarchs, Kunda Rana, with his 
brothers, to have conquered and ruled over all the surrounding country. By 
some one of that tribe probably the Brahmans were oppressed when they called 
in the aid of some other local prince called Khande Rao . . . The Champaka 
Shashti is directed to be held particularly sacred to Mallari. It is the sixth 
day of the increase of the moon in the month Margasirsha (November- 
December). This is the great day accordingly at Jejnri, where Khandoba's 
principal temple is. It formerly stood on the top of the hill, but on being re- 
edified by Malhar Eao Holkar, the first famous Maratha leader of that 
name, whose family god Khande Rao was, the site was changed to a level 
spot, but a little way from the base of the mountain. The approach is by a 
pretty broad flight of stone stairs . . . The tliird landing-place is the platform 


other Candalas of the district revere a deity called Kandiya, 
■who is most probably identical with Khandoba.^' 

In a similar way I am inclined to associate the name of 
the Khandesh district with Khanda. Khandesh can be 
explained as signifying the Khaud country, Khanda + 
deSa, Khandadeid contracted into KhandeSa, Khandesh. It 
is also possible to interpret it as the name of the lord of 
the Khands, Khanda., + tid, Khandesa.^* 

Some religious customs can be traced to the Gonds. It 
is thus not unlikely that the Grondana worship, in which 
the Maratha Brahmans and other Hindus revere ParvatI, 
is of Gond origin, equally as the Qondala ceremony among 
the Kolis. In this case the tribal name of the Gaudian 
Gondhalis has been substituted to call the performance 
after the performers, which circumstance was forgotten in 
course of time. The term Pariah in its wrong derivation 

of the temple . . . Inside there is the image of Khande Rao and his wife 
Mhalsa, placed behind a Linga, which is raised a little from the floor . . . 
Although from the local nature of the worship of Khande Bao, the surname 
of Eao, and the engrafting of this worship on the more ancient adoration of 
the Linga, it would appear to he comparatively modem, stiU we cannot trace 
its origin by the light of authentic history." 

The passage in the Gazetteer of Aurcmgabad, pp. 344-346, is taken from 
this account, to which is added the statement that ' ' Khande Rao or Khan- 
doba of Ujain was the great champion of Brahmanism in the seventh century 
of the Christian era." The authority of this statement is unknown to me. 

About the worship of KhandSbd compare also the Indian Antiqimry, vol. 
X, p. 286, in the article MnrUs and Wdghias. 

" In the Memoir of the Origin of Slaves we read on p. 28: "The two 
classes of Koragars place some stone on a hillock, worship it by performing 
Puja, as the god of Koragars. The remaining classes worship a deity called 
Kandiya and pay her vows." 

" About the name of Khandesh compare " Rough Notes on Khandesh" 
by W. F. Sinclair, Bo.C.S., in the Indian Antiquary, vol. IV, p. 108 : " The 
term Khandesh is of doubtful derivation. It has been supposed to refer to the 
title of Khan used by the Sultans of Burhanpur, and has also been derived 
from Kdnh-desh, ' land of Krishna, ' (conf . Kanhpur) ; from Tan-desh, ' the 
land of thirst ' in allusion to its arid plains and scanty rainfall ; facetiously 
from Kantadesh, ' the land of thorns,' in which it certainly abounds ; and 
finally the author of the Ayini Ahhari and other Musulman writers allude to 
it as ' Khandesh, otherwise called Dandesh,' which might be derived from 
' DangdeSa,' the mountain and the plain. . I am inclined myself to 


from parai, drum, offers a parallel example^ as I have pre- 
viously explained on p. 32. '' 

If Gondophares can be accepted as the actual name of 
the well-known Parthian king who ruled in North-Western 
India in the neighbourhood of Peshawar, one may possibly 
associate his name with that of the Gaudian or Gond tribe. 
However, the name appears in so many variations on coins 
and inscriptions that it is a difficult matter to settle. On the 
Greek obverse of some coins we read Yndop/ierres, which 
Dr. Aurel Stein inclines to identify with the Old-Persian 
Vindaferna, winning glory. On the Arian-Pali reverse 
Gudaphara or Gadaphara is generally found. The name of 
Gondophares is of additional interest as the legend connects 
it with the visit of the Apostle Thomas to India. The 
locality of the adventures of Saint Thomas was eventually 
transplanted to South India ; and MaUapur, now a suburb of 

believe in the derivation froni Kanh, and to suppose that it was afterwards 
altered by the Musulmans to the modem form. Krishna, under the name of 
Khandoha, is at this day, and would seem to have long heen, a favorite 
divinity in the country." 

By substituting Khandoba for Kr^na Mr. Sinclair supports my theory, 
though Khapdldba as a representation of Siva could hardly be identical 
with Krsna. 

'* See " An Account of the Mhadeo Kolies," by Captain A. Macintosh in 
the Madras Journal of Literature and Science, vol. V, pp. 108-111 : "Whatever 
malady man, woman, or child, or even their cattle, may be seized with, the 
Kolies imagine it is produced by the agency of some evil spirit or offended 
deity .... two or three sheep are sacrificed as a peace-oSering to the 
goddess Bhoany (Dewee) and the gods Khundobah and Bhyroo, and the 
Gondhul ceremony takes place afterwards." 

In H. H. Wilson's Glossary we read on p. 182 : " Oondana, Gondala, or 
Gondii, Gondhala, or Gondal. A tumultuous festivity in honour of the 
goddess Devi, celebrated, even in Mysore, chiefly by Maratha Brahmans, it 
being a Maratha festival (from the Mar. Gondhala, tumult, bustle), consist- 
ing of music, and dancing, and recitation of mythological stories . . . It ia 
probably the same thing as the Gondhal." 

" Gondhali, incorrectly Gondali, and Gondii, or Gondlee, corruptly 
GoneduUee. The name of a caste, or individual of it, whose business it is to 
sing and dance, and perform the Gondhal : in some places the Gondhali is 
the village drummer, sometimes he is a vagrant musician, dancer, and 
tumbler, or subsists by begging." 

Read also Historical and Descriptive Sketch of Sis Sickness (he Nizam's 
Dominions, vol. I, pp. 316, 317 : " The Gondhalis.—M.emheia of this sect. . 


Madras, is pointed out as the place of his last mission and of 
his passion. Peculiarly enough, we find that the Eaja of 
Mailapur, who is associated with Saint Thomas, is called 
Kandappa, a name which has some resemblance with Ganda- 
phares, a variation of Gondophares. It must, however, he 
mentioned that Kanda or Kandappa is the Tamil form of 
Skanda, the well-known Subrahmanya, whose vehicle is the 
peacock, in Tamil m-ayil, lduSsu. Professor Gutschmid has 
identified Gundophares with Caspar, one of the three Magi 
who went to Bethlehem. I have already explained in my 
monograph on Prester John the names of the three holy 
kings as representing the countries whence they came. 
Melehior, king of Nubia, became thus Malki y'or, king of 
the Nile, Balthasar, king of Saba, Behazzar, king of the 
Chaldaeans, and Kaspar, king of T arsis in Central Asia, 
Kas-hdr, the ruler of the Casia regio.^^ 

are distributed chiefly in the Bider, Naldrug, Aurangahad, Birh and Nandair 
districts. They are usually attached to temples, though some are wandering 
mendicants. Numbers of them are found at Tuljapur. They perform what 
is known as the Gondhal ceremony at the houses of Brahmins in the 
Dasara, Hanmnan's birthday and the cocoanut holidays. This ceremony 
can only be performed by married members of tie sect, and those so entitled 
to perform it wear a string of cowries round their necks. They biiry their 
dead and shave their beards as a sign of mourning." See Gazetteer of 
Aurangabad, p. 309 : " They dance at Hindu weddings with a lighted torch 
in their hands." 

Compare note 51 on p. 166. 

" The variations of Gondaphares are : Gandophares, Gundopharus, 
Gundoforus, Yndopheres, Gudaphara, Gadaphara, Godaphara. 

See on this subject The Coins of the Greeh and Bcythlc Kings of Bactria and 
India in the British Museum, by Percy Gardner, ll.d., edited by E. S. Poole, 
LL.D. ; Introduction, pp. xliii, xlvi, Ixxiii ; 103-107, 174. "With respect 
to dental and lingual d the editor makes on p. Ixx the remark : " I cannot 
distinguish on the coins between na and na, daemd da." The nasal in Gu 
(6a or &o) daphara has been omitted as in the name of Menander, which 
is spelt Menadra. 

Read also Dr. M. Aurel Stein's Zoroastrian Deities on Indo-Scythian 
Coins, p. 13. 

Among the articles of the pioneers of Indian Archaeology consult 
T. Prinsep's Note on the Historical Jiesults dedwiihle from recent Discoveries 
in Afghanistan, London, 1844, and his Mssaya on Indian Antiquities ; H. H. 
"Wilson's Ariana Antiqua, pp. 256, 340, 342 ; Christian Lassen's monograph 
Zur Oeschichte der Griechiscken tmd Indoskythiaehen Konige and especially in 



On the Kodagas, Koeagas, Koravas, Todas, and Kotas. 
The Kodagas. 
The Kodagas or Kurgs are the inhabitants of Kurg and 
represent the dominant trihe of that province. They are a 
hardy race, independent and proud of the liberty they 
enjoy. A foreign dynasty of Lingayat Rajas ruled over 
them till 1834. Their country is generally called Kudagu 
or Kodagu, which term signifies, according to my opinion, 
mountain-tract. The beginning of this word means moun- 
tain, and the suffix gu is added to its end. A Kurgman 
is called Kodagan or Kudagan, but the term Kutavan is 
used in Malayalam besides Kutakan for the gutturals, as we 
have seen, interchange occasionally with the semi-vowel v. 
The syllable an indicates the pronoun of the third person 

his Indisehe Alterthumshunde, vol. II, pp. 391-397 : "In dem dritten von 
diesen Eeichen, dessen Daaeyn nur durch die MUnzen uns bezeugt wird, in 
Arachoaien war Yndopherres oder Oondophares der Wiederhersteller der 
Parthischen Herrschaft. Die letztere Form is die eiiiheiinische gewesen, weil 
Bie in den Arianischen Insohriften vorkommt . . (Wo die Vocalzeichen noch 
vorhanden sind, ist der Name Gudiiphara zu lesen, das « aclieint nicht 
bezeichnet zu seyn, wenigstena nicht wie auf den Miinzen dea Menandros) . . 
Seine Miinzen stellen uns gleichsam im Umrisse die Geachichte seiner 
Thaten vor . . . Zwei seiner Typen aind zweifelhaf ter Deutung . . . Die 
z-weite iat ihm und aeinem NacUolger eigenthiimlich. Auf dieser Miinze 
ersoheint eine Gestalt in Indischer Tracht mit einem Zepter ; vielleicht ist 
es der Konig aelbst. Wenn dieses richtig ist, kann daraus gefolgert werden, 
dasB er, wenn auch nicht eigentliche Inder, was unmoglich ist, doch Unter- 
thanen gehabt habe, deren Gebrauche nur wenig von jenen aich unterachie- 
den, und denen er seine Achtung dadurch beweisen wollte, dass er zugleich 
sich ihnen in Parthischer and in Indischer Tracht zeigte." 

Specially noticed shoiJd be also Sir Alexander Cunningham'a writinga, 
e.g., hia " Coina of the Indian Buddhiat Satraps with Greek inscrip- 
tions," in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. XXIII, pp. 
711-13; his remarks in the Archaohigical Survey of India, vol. II, 
pp. 59-61, vol. V, pp. 60, 62, and vol. XIV, pp. 48, 116. See further 
JJie Kachfolger Alexander des Grossen in Bactrien and Indien yon Alfred 
von SaUet ; the Indian Antiquary, vol. Ill, p. 309 ; vol. IX, pp. 258-263 ; 
vol. X, p. 214 ; vol. XII, p. 7 ; my book Ler Presbyter Johannes in Sage 
vvrl Oeschichte, zweite verbesserte Auflage, pp. 7, 41 and 228 ; Die Kirche der 
Thomas-Christen von'Di. W. Germann, pp. 16, 22, 26, 100. 


The derivation of the word Kodagu is a disputed point 
among scholars. Dr. Ghindert feels inclined to connect it 
with kotu, steep, the Eev. F. Kittel connects it with the root 
kud, and Bishop Caldwell gives as its meaning either curved 
or west. I believe that Kodagu or Kudaku is in reality a 
name, and that the signification West is derived from it. 
To the Tamil people Kudagu is a western, but to the 
Malayalis ii is an eastern district. We find thus that the 
king of Cera is called in Tamil the king of the West or 
Kiidakon (Kudako and KudansLtan), while the king of Konnu 
or Cera is in Malayalam the king of the East, and Cerakarru 
is a name of the East- wind. Konnu signifies according to 
Dr. Gundert mountain-declimty , and, though a general name 
of the Cera (or Kerala) country, it is particularly applied 
to the Coimbatore district. Moreover, kudakku for west is a 
special Tamil expression and not found in the other kindred 
tongues. Even Tamil generally uses in its stead the more 
common term merku. I feel therefore inclined to explain 
the Tamil meaning of kudakku as west from the situation 
of the Kurg country which occupies a prominent position. 
Just in the same way the south-wind is called in Tamil 
Colakam after the southern Cola country whence it blows.*' 

" Kurg is Kodagu in Kanarese, Tulu and Telugu, Kudahn and Kudakam 
in Tamil, and Kutaku or Kotaku in Malayalam. Kutavan and Kutaman 
signify in Malayalam a predial slave, while Eutiyan means a slave in Kurg. 
The latter term may have been perhaps derived from the word kuti, house. 
With respect to the interchange of g and v compare in Telugu poga and povti, 
earring ; pagadamu and pavadamu, coral ; aguta and avuta, to he. Consult 
C. P. Brown's Telugu Grammar, and see p. 28. 

Respecting the name Kodagu the Kev. F. Kittel makes the following re- 
marks jn a note to his article " Three Kongu Inscriptions " in the Indian 
Atitiquary, vol. VI, pp. 99-103 : " As eYinced by the pronunciation of Kan- 
arese, Kodaga, and other peoples, the name of the country is Kongu (not Kongu 
with the long Sanskrit o ) ; an inhabitant of that country, now-a-days often 
identified with the Koyambuttur (Coimbatore) district, is called a Konga. 
Thus also Kodagu (Coorg) is the country, and Kodaga, a native of Coorg. 
Koiigini, Konguni, Kongani are Sanskritized forms. Though Kongu and 
Kodagu more than probably have the same root {Kud), there seems to be no 
historical proof for the identity of the names. Among the Kodagaa of our 
time there is a well-known family called the Kongo, house, — a secondary 


It is not impossible that the ancestors of the present 
Kodagas, unless they are regarded as aborigines, immi- 
grated at a later period into Kurg. In those early days the 
Billavas and the Kurumbas^ the two representatives of the 
ancient Drayidian and Gaudian tribes, were already living 
on these mountains, as well as the Holeyas and Teravas, 
who probably had not been degraded into bondslaves and 

The principal divisions among the Kurgs are the priestly 
or Amma-Kodagas and the Lay-Kodagas.'^ Both classes 
are of Graudian origin, though the Kaveri Purana represents 
the Amma-Kodagas as Brahmans, who had been cursed by 
Agastya. Brahmanic tradition assigns to the ancient Tulu 
priests a similar fabulous history. These are said to have 
been fishermen, whom Parasurama had elevated into Brah- 
mans by investing them with the holy thread torn from 
the cords of their nets, but whom he afterwards again de- 
graded as unbelievers. The Amma-Kodagas were probably 

evidence aa to the influence of the Koftgas over at least a portion of Coorg. 
It would be of some interest to know in what document Kodagu is first 
mentioned.*' Bishop Caldwell gives in the introduction to his Comparative 
Grammar of the Drividian Languages, second edition, two different explana- 
tions of the word Kodagu. On p. 22 he says : " The word Kongu, one of 
the names of the Chera country, means, like Kudagu (Coorg), crooked, 
curved, and is evidently a name derived from the configuration of the 
country;" and on p. 36 he writes : " The native spelling of Coorg is usually 
Kodagu, properly Kudagu, from Jciida, west, a meaning of the word which is 
usual in ancient Tamil. " The original meaning of Kurg is often explained 
as signifying western, but this explanation like the others proposed by the 
two previously mentioned scholars appears to me improbable. 

*' See Coorg Memoirs ; an Account of Coorg. . by the Rev. H. Moegling, 
Bangalore, 1855 ; the Rev. G. Richter's Manual of Coorg (1870) and his Ethno- 
graphical Compendium on the Castes and Tribes found in the Province of Coorij, 
Bangalore, 1887 ; as well as Mr. Lewis Rice's Mysore and Coorg, vol. III. 
Moegling gives on pp. 1-10 a description of the Kurg country. 

^^ According to A Manual of Coorg Civil Law, by Captain R. Cole, p. i, 
" There are four different sects or tribes amongst the Coorgs, viz., 1. Amma, 
2. Sanna, 3. Malta, 4. Boddu Ooorgs. Amongst these sects the Amma and 
Banna Coorgs are to be found in aU parts of Coorg proper, whilst the Boddu 
Coorgs are chiefly found to the north of Mercara. The Malta Coorgs are 
amalgamated with the ^anna Coorgs and are no longer distinguishable." 


SO called after Amma Kaveri or Mother Kaveri, whom they 
worship, though they do not assist at any ceremonies at the 
Kaveri temple. In fact for a considerable period the Amma- 
Kodagas do not appear to have performed any priestly func- 
tions at all. They hardly surpass their lay countrymen 
in education, and they live entirely on agriculture. They 
possess no sacred hooks of their own, and their influenca is 
very limited. Some years back they could scarcely be dis- 
tinguished from the other Kurgs, and they have only lately 
discarded their national costume, in order to imitate the 
Brahmans in their dress and food. They wear now the 
sacred thread and abstain from animal food and liquor. 
According to tradition, the Ammas owned once half of the 
Kurg country free of rent, while the other half belonged to 
the Lay Kurgs. But circumstances have changed much of 
late, and the Amma-Kodagas are not only greatly reduced 
in numbers, but are still continuing to decrease.^" 

™ Compare Coorg Memoirs of the Rev. H. Moegliug, pp. 24-27 : "When 
the Brahmans for whom Parashurama's victory opened the Western Coast, 
settled in their new country, they found there an indigenous priesthood. 
They could not destroy them ; they could not, or would not, amalgamate 
with them. What was to be done ? The Parashurama Shrishti Kathe 
(history of the creation of Kerala by Parashurama) has managed the difB- 
culty. The native priesthood, the Taulava Brahmans, are represented as 
Brahmans, created by Parashurama, but afterwards cursed by him. They 
were originally fishermen. Parashurama elevated them to Brahmanical 
rank by investing them with cords, torn from their nets. Afterwards, 
provoked by their unbelieving presumption, he degraded them for ever. 
Thus the ancient priests of the Tulu country were absorbed by the 
Brahmanical system as Brahmans, lying under a curse. In a similar 
manner the Ammas of Coorg appear in this Kavgri Purana, as Brahmans 
indeed originally, but degraded by the curse of the Eishi Agastya. . . The 
real history of the Ammas, or Amma Kodagas has thus been effaced, and 
cannot be restored. However, a few facts may be mentioned as proofs, that 
the Ammas are the remains of the ancient priesthood, though they know it 
not themselves. 1 . Their common name is Amma Koiaga, which would 
naturally signify : Coorgs devoted to the worship of Amma, i.e., the goddess 
of the chief river of the country, the Kaveri. 2. They observe the great 
festivals of the Coorg country in the same manner as the rest of the Coorgs, 
but of course, as priests, performing pilja, etc. 3. They dress like the rest 
of the Coorgs, though wearing at the same time, the Brahmanical cord. 
However, on this subject my information is rather curious. It is said, that 



The Lay-Kurgs were formerly a warlike race, but the 
long years of peace and security have to a certain extent 
softened their manners. Still they are strong and brave, 
and though now not called upon to face hostile armies, they 
courageously encounter the wild and fierce beasts which 
infest their woods and mountains. 

Their acknowledged bravery and the loyalty they dis- 
played towards Government secured to the Kurgs the dis- 
tinction of being exempted from the provisions of the 
Disarming Act after the suppression of the Great Mutiny. 

It has been asserted that polyandry exists, or has existed, 
among the Kodagas, and though this practice has probably 
become extinct in more recent times, there is no reason for 
supposing that it did not once exist. Polyandry is a custom 
peculiar to the Gauda-Dravidian tribes, and is still found 
among certain races. The households of the Ko4agas, in 
which two or three, perhaps even four, generations live 
together, have been likened to those of the five Pan4avas. 

having degenerated by degrees, and being at last carried away by the Turks, 
they ceased to put on the holy cord, and began to wear the common Coorg 
dress. But it appears to me, that the truth differs much from the current 
statement. I suppose, that they wore the Ooorg-dress originally, knew 
nothing of Brahmanical pretensions and badges, and differed in nothing 
from their brethren, except their selection for the priestly office. In mora 
recent times they seem to have inclined towards the proffered patronage of 
the Brahmans, and to have gradually dropped into Brahmanical habits of 
thought and life. A good many now wear the holy cord, having laid 
aside the dress of their country, and all profess to abstain from meat and 
fermented liquors. This return to Brahmanical initiation and dress was 
brought about by a Haviga Brahman, the late Karnika, Timappaya. His 
family still exercise spiritual rule over the Amma Kodagas, who appear to 
delight in the shade of Brahmanical patronage. 4- They have no Shastra. 
The whole Coorg race was unlettered from the beginning. Their own priest- 
hood also, like the priests of ancient Germany and Britain, had no need of 
books." Mr. Lewis Kice's statements, loco citato, pp. 227, 228, coincide with 
those of Mr. Moegling. The Rev. G. Eiohter gives in his Ethnographical 
Compendium the following description of the Amma Kodagas on p. 21 ; " The 
Amma Coorgs form but a small and exclusive sect. They are said to have 
been the indigenous priesthood, but there is no distinct priesthood attached 
to demon worship. The Coorgs being demon worshippers can have had no 
priesthood in the Brahmanical sense and the Amma Coorgs may rather be 
considered as having been, like the Ajjala Falyas, the officiating JPuJaris at 


The Kodagas are very superstitious, worshipping demons and 
evil spirits. 

On the whole the Kodaga is a very worthy represen- 
tative of the Gauda-Dravidian race, and has no need to raise 
himself in the esteem of others by claiming to be an Aryan 

the bloody sacrifices offered to their Bhutas, an office which generally the 
head of the family performs. Yet their name, Amma Kodagas, denotes that 
they were devotees to ' Mother Xaveri,' a river deity which is identical with 
Fanati, the wife of Siva. . It may be conjectured that the Brahmans coming 
in contact with the rude Coorg mountaineers and seeing in the dominant race 
a promising field to further their own interests, imposed upon them their own 
puranic superstition and peopled the high mountains with celebrated rishia 
or hermits, chief among them Agastia Muni, and brought the source of the 
Kaveri in relationship with the principal Brahmanical deities, Siva and 
Farvati, and to give divine authority to their proceedings they foisted upon 
the Coorgs the Kaveri Parana, a feat which may have overawed a rude and 
superstitious race, but which by modern criticism is discovered as a frau- 
dulent imposition of recent date. To conciliate and win over the indigenous 
Bhuta pujaris they were admitted as a sort of inferior priests of Kaveri 
Amma, hence their name Amma Kodagas. In the course of time disputes 
must have arisen between them and the more crafty and learned Bramanical 
priests whose interests necessitated a monopoly and as legend has it, the 
former fell under Kaveri s curse and decreased, whilst the Coorgs who 
sided with Agastia Muni, were promised increased prosperity. But however 
obscure the history of the Amma Coorgs may be, the fact is that from time 
immemorial they perform no priestly functions whatever, and being un- 
lettered and ignorant they exercise no spiritual influence upon the rest of 
the Coorgs from whom they are only distinguished by wearing the Brah- 
manical cord and by abstaining from animal food and fermented liquor. 
They do therefore not eat with Coorgs nor intermarry with them ; but the 
Brahmans do in no wise acknowledge them as of equal standing or even 
resembling them in priestly dignity. Their number does not exceed 400, 
and the next census wiU likely confirm the opinion of their steady decrease. 
They live on agriculture only. It is said that a class of people Uke the 
Amma Kodagas live in the Wynaad, with whom they claim relationship, but 
have now no intercourse." The legend of ParaSurftma elevating fishermen 
on the Tnluva shore to Brahmans by destroying the nets and forming Brah- 
manical strings out of their meshes, is also contained in a Kanarese BhUgola. 
ParaSurama became incensed against them in consequence of their attempt- 
ing to trj- the truth of his word. 

81 See Coorg Annals, pp. 27, ff : " There can be no doubt, that the Coorgs 
have an origin distinct from the population both of the Western coast 
(Canara and Malayalam), and of the Mysore tableland. Their very ap- 
pearance proves this. They are a tall, muscular, broad-chested, well-favored 
race. Many of them do not exceed the neighbouring tribes in height of 


The Koragas. 

A greater dissimilarity can hardly exist between two 
tribes than is found between the Kodagas of Kurg and the 
Koragas of Kanara, though both belong to the same Gaudian 
race. The free and independent bearing of the Kodaga 
stands in glaring contrast to the shy and retiring demeanour 

body. . Their complexion is rather fair, their features generally re^lar. . , 
The national character of the Coorgs is perhaps tolerably well understood by 
the people of the plains, who look upon them as a fierce, irascible and revenge- 
ful race, not easily to be managed . . . They have a strange and noxious 
custom, a kind of marriage -communism within the family. The wives of the 
brothers of one house are considered as common property. The children 
consequently are rather children of the family, or of the mother, than of the 
acknowledged father . . . Among the Coorgs the family property descends 
accordingly not so much from father to son, as from generation to generation, 
the eldest member acting as head of the house. . In former days there was 
another way, my informant told me, for contracting marriage, besides family 
agreement. Two young people of the same (district) Xadu, would see each 
other, and without asking counsel of parents or friends, agree upon a union 
for life. Such a covenant would be held sacred. Unfaithfulness in the case 
of such partners was a thing unheard of." Read also Mr. Lewis Eice's 
Gazetteer ofCoorg, pp. 93, ff., 203, 218, 234. Compare Jlr. 'Richtev' a Ethnogra- 
phical CompendlitDi, '^. '1'. "There can be no doubt that however varied the 
population of Coorg may be, the dominant tribe, the Ooorgs, as well as the 
other Hindu castes and tribes of the country belong to the Dravidian race. 
. . . As to th eir physiognomy and bodily characteristics, essentially there seems 
to be no difference other than what may be accounted for by civilization and 
social institutions. The shape of their heads is clearly meso-cephaUc and 
orthognntitfi with loss or more prominent cheek-bones and oval or pointed 
faces." P. 3: ' 'As to traditional habits and customs amongst the people of Coorg 
there is a great similitude to the usages among the other Dravidian races 
modifiedof course by the diiference of climate and civilizing influences." P.19 : 
. . Ibe Coorgs or Xudagas, as they are properly called, are the principal inha- 
bitants of the country, and from time immemorial the lords of the soil. For 
the last two centuries they are known as a compact body of mountaineers who 
resemble more a Scotch clan than a Hindu caste. . . However, the peculiar 
character attached to them is doubtless the result of physical and political cir. 
cumstances in which they were placed. They are a tribe more from position 
than genealogy and cannot be said to be of distinct origin. In the Hindu 
scale they are considered as Sudras. By the force of local circumstances 
they became like other pre- Aryan hill tribes hunters and warriors and 
were brought into historical prominence through the chivalrous exploits 
of their Eaja Dodda Verajender in his struggle with Ti))pu Sultan for 
independence and his alliance with the English, and again through the 
insane hostility of the last Raja and the short invasion and annexation 
of the country by the English in 1S34. Now the Coorgs are peaceful 
agriculturists and chiefly fill .the oflices of the local administration and 


of the Koraga when he enoounters a stranger in his jungles. 
The Kodaga has a comparatively fair complexion, while 
the skin of the Koraga is black ; the former delights to 
cover himself with handsome clothes, the latter prefers rags 
or a state bordering on nudity ; while the Koraga woman is 
even contented with a partial covering of interwoven leaves. 
In spite of his poverty and wretchedness, the Koraga is a 
contented man and lives happy and contented so long as 
nobody interferes with him, and of course so long as he 
can satisfy his hunger and thirst. He likes meat and is 
fond of spirits. The dead are buried according to Mr. N. 
Eaghavendra Eow, but burnt according to Dr. Francis 
Buchanan. Mr. N. Eaghavendra Eow asserts that the 

owe their notable position to the special favor of the British Government. 
Their presumption to he of Eshatria or Rajput descent may flatter their 
natural pride, bat has not the slightest foundation in history or tradition, 
or in the evidence derived from their language or social and religious insti- 
tutions and customs. Lieutenant Connor, whose professional duties brought 
him into daily intercourse with them for a period of two years, 1815-1817, en- 
joyed the most favorable opportunities to form an unbiassed opinion of the 
Coorgs before any European influence had affected their habits and social 
position. He rejects the supposition of their being a division of the Nairs 
as ha'\"ing ' no pretension to rank with the higher classes of the Soodra tribe.' " 
P. 38 ; " The Coorgs are generally charged with the practice of polyandry, 
and Lieutenant Connor writes of the custom as an undoubted fact, the reason 
for which he fails to see. He states, ' The Codugus generally marry after 
the age of puberty, the nuptials of the eldest brother are first celebrated, 
and the lady in all cases yields a consent to become the wife of the younger 
ones, who, when circumstances will permit, are married successively, their 
spouses being in turn not less accommodating.' Upon a careful and confi- 
dential examination of the matter, I have come to the conclusion that, what- 
ever may have been the custom of bygone ages, or whatever form it may 
have assumed, — Thornton in his history of the British Empire alluding to 
the marriage laws of the Coorgs, called it ' communism of wives ' — there is no 
such thing now practised amongst the Coorgs as a 'general usage.' " P. 42 ; 
" Rei'arding the religion of the Coorgs the general statement already given 
needs some special remarks. Considering their intimate connection with 
local and neighbouring castes and tribes, it is bat natural that their religious 
practices, which originally stood on the same level with those of the Soleyas, 
viz., demon and ancestor worship, have been much influenced by Malayalim, 
Tulu Kanarese, Brahmanical and Lingayet superstitions. Malayalis have 
made themselves indispensable at demon and ancestor worship; Tulus have 
smuggled in their demons and are in requisition as pujaris ; Mysoreans at 
certain times of the year carry Mari Amma shrines through the countrj' to 


Xoraga does not like to volunteer any information about 
his language. " He may be induced to give an account of 
" his feasts, his god, and his family, but a word about his 
" dialect will frighten him out of his wits. At that moment 
" alone, he wUl become impolite and unmannerly. He 
" thinks his dialect is a shield in his hand and cannot 
" be parted with, and therefore keeps it as a sacred secret. 
" But good words and kind treatment can do something. 
" A few words that have been gathered with great difficulty 
" resemble those of the Keikadi and Naikunde Gondi tribes 
" of Nagpore." The unwillingness of the Soppina Koragas 
to give information concerning their language is also men- 
tioned in the Memoirs of the Origin of Slaves.''^ 

have the people's vows paid to them ; the Brahmans who are domiciled in 
Coorg have succeeded in introducing Mahadeva and Suhrahmamja, in entirely 
brahmanizing the worship of the river Kaveri, in having temples erected and 
idols set up, in spreading puranic tales, and in usurping to some extent the 
puja, at the places of the worship. They have been greatly assisted in these 
successful endeavours by the Liiigayets and Sivacharis, especially in the in- 
troduction of the Linga. Christianity iirst presented to them by the Roman 
Catholic settlement in Virajendrapet since the days of Dodda Virajendra, and 
for the last 30 years offered to them by the agents of the Basel Mission . . . 
has made little progress." Bead also Rev. F. Kittel's articles entitled 
Coorg Superstitions, The Coorgs and Three Kongu Inscriptions in the Indian 
Antiquary, vol. II, pp. 168-171, 182, and vol. VI, pp. 99-103. The second 
article treats about the custom of polyandry. Compare Rev. M. A. Sherring's 
Sindu Tribes and Castes, Vol. II, pp. 286-290. 

According to the last census the number of Amma Kodagas amounted to 
475 and that of the other Kodagas to 26,.'J38 souls. 

'- See Ur. UUal Raghavendra Rao's account on the Koragas of Canara. I 
have not been able to obtain a copy of the original lecture. It has been 
reprinted two years ago in the May number 1886 of the Madras Christian 
College Magazine, it is also in extenso quoted in the Madras Census Report of 
1871, vol.1, pp. 343-345, in the Indian Antiquary, vol. Ill, pp. 195-199, and 
in Mr. Sherring's ffi«rfM Tribes and Castes, vol. Ill, pp. 206-210. "With 
a black face, forehead of moderate size, and strong body, all bespeaking 
contentment, the Koragar is separated from the rest of mankind, — alien in 
dress, in manners, customs and dialect. Uneducated and illiterate as he is, in 
his circle virtue thrives as in her proper soil. . . He has a god, and him he 
knows to love — ^him he knows to pray to, however incoherent his language 
be. Lying, stealing, adultery, and other social evils, he knows not. He 
has never appeared in a court of justice as defendant in a suit. He does 
drink toddy, it is true. . He does eat flesh. On what else should he live, 
whUe we have denied him every means of subsistence. ? . The Koragar, born 


Little is known about their former history. The Koya- 
gas are now treated Hke Pariahs, though according to tradi- 
tion they also were once a governing race. Dr. Erancis 
Buchanan states that : " Ifubushica, chief of the savages 

as a slave, is richly content with hie ignorance, with his koppu, and with his 
squalid poverty. Ambition finds in him no place. He eats but the rotten 
flesh of the dead cattle. He clothes himself but with rags. . . The dress of 
the Koragar does not greatly differ from that which the lower classes, such 
as the Billawars, make use of during their daily labour, the only point of 
difference is, that the poverty of the Koragar does not allow him to replace 
the narrow piece of threadbare cloth, little better than a rag, by a more 
recent suit of clothes on festive occasions ; while the other classes invariably 
reserve some sort of finery for gala days. The dress of the females, how- 
ever, is very peculiar. While the males gird a piece of cloth around their 
loins, the females cover their waist with the leaves of the forest interwoven 
together. The custom of their nudity is attributed to different reasons ; and 
a tradition, which has been handed down to posterity among the upper classes, 
who boast of the glory of the past, is hardly worthy of belief. . . One of these 
' blacklegged ' (the usual expression by which they are referred to during the 
nightj demanded a girl of high birth in marriage. Being enraged at this, the 
upper class withheld, after the overthrow of the Koraga empire, eveiy kind 
of dress from the Koraga women, who, to protect themselves from disgrace, 
have since had recourse to the leaves of the forest . . .Within his own 
circle, he has three divisions : 1. TAe Ande Koragars. — These are described 
as having a pot suspended from their neck. This class, which is the lowest, 
has been rarely seen since the establishment of British rule in Canara. 
They were considered so unholy, that they were not allowed to this on the 
public way; and, consequently, the pot was worn for this purpose. 2. I'he 
Vastra Koragars. — This appellation has reference to their wearing clothes 
such as were used to shroud a dead body and were given to them in the shape 
of charity, the use of a new cloth being prohibited, 3. The Sappu Koragan. 
— These Koragars are such as we now generally see, wearing leaves for 
clothes. These three divisions are named simply after their diif erent kinds 
of dress." (This extract is from M. Sherring's vol. Ill, and the following 
partly also from the Indian Antiquary.) 

" When a Koragar dies, as a matter of simple duty, reference is made to 
his landlord, and with his permission the deceased is buried in a place con» 
secrated for the purpose, and in his honour four balls of rice are made and 
placed on the grave, which must be done within twelve months from the 
date of his death. Koragars were, it is said, originally worshippers of the 
sun. . . They have no separate temple for their god ; bat a place beneath 
a Kasarkana tree is consecrated for the worship of their deity, which 
is exclusively their own, and is called Kata. . . The Koragars have no fixed 
feasts exclusively their own. Now, while liberty shines throughout the 
world under this Christian Government, slavery stiU lurks in those darkest 
comers where the rays of education have yet to penetrate. The Koragan 
and Holeyas are victims to this vestige of past despotism. The ceremony 


" called Coragoru, or Corar, governed 12 years, till Kali- 
"yugam 2657. Locaditya Raya, son of Myui'u Varma, 
" expelled the Coragoru, and governed Tulava, Malayala, 
" and Haiga 21 years, till KaHyugam 2678." ^^ 

of buying a slave needs a little explanation. The destined slave is washed, 
and anointed with oil, and new clothes are given him . The master takes a 
batlit, or plate, pours some water in it, and drops in it a piece of gold. 
The slave drinks up the water, and taking some earth from his future 
master's estate, throws it on the spot which he has chosen for his use, 
which is thereupon given to him with the trees thereon. The greater num- 
ber of slaves belong to the Aliya Santanam castes, and among these 
people a male slave is sold for three Bhaudry pagodas, and a female 
slave for five pagodas ; whereas the few slaves who follow the Makkala 
Santanam custom, fetch five pagodas for the man, and only three for the 
woman. This is because the children of the latter go to the husband's 
master, while those of the Aliya Santanam slaves go to the mother's 
master, who also has the benefit of the husband's services." 

In the Memoirs of the Origin oj Slaves of Ramappa Kamik of Barkur, 
which I quoted on p. 156 in note 50, p. 159, note 53, and on p. 170 concerning 
the language of the Soppu Koragar, contain also other interesting remarks on 
the Koragas on pp. 23, 24, 32, 33, 34, 36. In 11 : " Mirars, Eappata Koragars, 
Soppu Koragars and those, who are aborigines of Ghauts feed upon 
carrion or carcasses of oxen, cows, calves, buffaloes and other cattle. Fe- 
males of Soppu Koragars alone wear leaves of trees. . . Kappata Koragars 
and Soppu Koragars do wicker-work, sell hides to shoe-makers and secure 
remnants of food of all higher classes except the subdivided Chandalas. Soppu 
Koragars also beat drum during buffalo race and other occasions. . . Among 
the Soppu Koragars, male guests of their caste bring degradation upon 
them if they enter after sun-set a hut occupied by a single woman. The 
females of this class, failing to wear leaves, bring disrepute to the whole 

^3 Compare A Journey from Madras through the Countries of Mysore, 
Canara, and Malnhar, by Francis Buchanan, m.d., second edition, Madras 
vol. ri, p. 269, and pp. 271, 272 : " Having assembled some of the Corar, 
or Corawar, who under their chief Subashiea are said to have once been 
masters of Tulava, I found, that they are now all slaves, and have lost every 
tradition of their former power. Their language differs considerably from 
that of any other tribe in the peninsula. When their masters choose to employ 
them, they get one meal of victuals, and the men have daily one Hany 
of rice, and the women three-quarters of a Hany. This is a very good 
allowance ; but, when the master has no use for their labour, they must sup- 
port themselves as well as thej can. This they endeavour to do by making 
Coir, or rope from coco-nut husks, various kinds of baskets from Ratam and 
climbing plants, and mud walls. They pick up the scraps and offals of other 
people's meals, and skin dead oxen, and dress the hides. They build their 
huts near towns or villages. Their dress is very simple, and consists in 
general of a girdle, in which they stick a bunch of grass before, and another 


The same incident is mentioned in the following manner 
in the MS. of the yet unprinted " Geography and History of 
Canara " compiled by the late Mr. William Lavie, an official 
of South Kanara, during the years 1830 to 1841 : " About 
" 900 years or more before Christ (but we must not be too 
*' particular about dates) Hoobashee brought an army from 
" Anantapur consisting of the Berar, Mundale, Karamara, 
" Mailla, Holeya, Ande Koraga ; with these troops, whom 
" Buchanan calls savages, Hoobashee marched against 
" Angara Varma, the son of Yeera Varma. They first came 
" to Barktir and from thence proceeded to Mangalore, where 
" they were seized with the small-pox, and greatly troubled 
" by the ants. Subsequently they went to the south- 
" ward of Manjeshwar. Here Hoobashee established his 
" capital, and put his nephew Siddha Bhyru on the throne 
" in lieu of Veera Varma. He reigned only twelve years, 
" and then both he and Hoobashee died, owing to the en- 
" chantments used by Veera Varma who went to Banwasee 
" in Sonda for that very purpose. After their deaths, Veera 
" Varma returned and drove the aforesaid army into the 

behind. Some of the men have a fragment of cloth round their -waist ; but 
very few of the women ever procure this coveting. They are not, however, 
without many ornaments of beads, and the like ; and even when possessed 
of some wealth, do not alter their rude dress. Some few of them are permit- 
ted to rent lands as Gaynigaras. In spite of this wretched life, they are a 
good looking people, and therefore probably are abundantly fed. They have 
no hereditary chiefs, and disputes among them are settled by assemblies of the 
people. If they can get them, they take several wives ; and the women are 
marriageable both before and after puberty, and duriag widowhood. They 
win not marry a woman of any other caste ; and they are considered of so 
base an origin, that a man of any other caste, who cohabits with one of their 
women is inevitably excommunicated and afterwards not even a Corar will 
admit his society. The marriages are indissoluble, and a woman who com- 
mits adultery is only flogged. Her paramour, if he be a Corar, is fined. The 
master pays the expense of the marriage feast. When a man dies, his wives, 
with all their children, return to the huts of their respective mothers 
and brothers, and belong to their masters. They will eat the offals of any 
other caste, and can eat beef, carrion, tigers, crows, and other impure 
things; they reject, however, dogs and snakes. They can lawfully drink 
intoxicating liquors. They burn the dead, and seem to know nothing of 



"jungles where they were driven to such extremities that 
" they consented to become slaves and serve under the former 
" landlords. The way in which this was done was as follows : 
" After washing and anointing the body with oil, new cloths 
" were put on the destined slave, and his future owner having 
" taken a Batlu or plate, poured some water on it and dropt 
" in a piece of gold. After which the slave drank up the 
" water. The slave then took up some earth from his future 
" master's estate and threw it on such a spot as he chose for 
" his house and garden which was accordingly given over to 
*' him with all the trees thereon. The Karamara were set 
" to watch the crops and cattle belonging to the village. 
" The head-men who had been appointed by Hoobashee to 
" the most responsible poets under his nephew's government 
" were taken naked towards the sea in order to be hung 
" there, but being ashamed of their naked state they gathered 
" the leaves of the Necky gida (c5^^ ^t^), five-leaved trees, and 
" made a small covering for themselves in front. Thereupon 
" their conductors took pity on them and let them go, since 
" which they have continued to wear no other covering than 
" the leaves of the said tree." ^ 

a state of future existence, nor do they believe in Paisachi, or evil spirits. 
Their deity is called Buta, and is represented by a stone, which is kept 
in a square surrounded by a wall. To this stone, in all cases of sickness, 
they sacrifice fowls or make offerings of fruit or grain, and every man offlers 
his own worship (Fiija) ; so that they have no officiating priest, and 
they acknowledge the authority of no Guru. They follow all the oxen and 
buffaloes of the village, as so much of the live stock, when they are driven in 
procession at a great festival which the farmers annually celebrate." 

** I copied this extract from a MS. copy of Mr. Lavie's Geography and 
History of Canara kindly lent to me by Mr. J. Sturrock, Collector of South 
Canara, and it occurs thereon pp. 21, 22. Mr. Lavie says about it : " 29. The 
following traditionary account of the Dhers I quote in full from a Canarese 
paper obligingly furnished to me by a respectable native." This extract is 
also contained in a note to the Memoirs of the Origin of Slaves by Ramappa 
Kamic of Barkur, a friend of Dr. Buchanan. These memoirs were trans- 
lated by Mr. Joseph Saldanha, Sheristadar of Mangalore, and published 
by Dr. John Shortt in the IV Part of The Hill Ranges of Southern India. 
The MS. copy of these Memoirs and the print of Dr. Shortt (on p. 19) 
acknowledge Lavie's Geography and Sistory of Canara as their original 


In the English tranflation of Ramappa's Memoirs of 
the Slaves, Hoobashee is always called Hubashika, and the 
Karamaras are called Marimans or Kappatu Koragas. 

We read also in this memoir that Hubasika, king of 
the Oandalas, subdued king Lokadiraya, that the king 
Candrasena, in order to get rid of Hubasika, proposed to 
him that he should marry Candrasena's sister, and when 
Hubasika with his chief followers came, the guests were 
treacherously assailed and either massacred or enslaved.^' 

source. The following account is reprinted from The Koragars by Mr. Ullal 
Eaghavendra Rao from the Indian Antiquary, vol. Ill, p. 196: "The 
following tradition gives us a very faint idea of their rule : — 

" Atout 900 years or more B.C. (but we must not be too particular about 
dates) , the Habashi brought an army from Anautapur, consisting of the Birar, 
Muudal, Karmara, Maila, Holeya, Ande Koraga ; with these troops, whom 
the learned Dr. Buchanan calls savages, the Habashi marched against Angara 
Varma, the son of Vira Varma. They first came to Barkur, and from thence 
proceeded to Mangalur, where they were attacked by small-pox, and greatly 
troubled by ants. They went to the southward of Manjesvar. There the 
Habashi established his capital, and put his nephew Sidda Bairu on the 
throne in lieu of Vira Varma. He reigned only twelve years, and then both 
he and the Habashi died, owing to the enchantments used by Vira Varma, 
who went to Banawasi in Sonda for that very purpose. After their death 
Vira Varma returned, and drove the aforesaid army into the jungles, where 
they were pursued to such extremities that they consented to become slaves 
and serve under the former landlords. The Earmara was sent to watch 
the crops and cattle belonging to the village. The headmen who had been 
appointed by the Hubashi to the most responsible posts under his nephew's 
government were taken naked to the seashore in order to be hanged, but, 
being asham.ed of their naked state, they gathered the leaves of the Nekki 
ffida and made a small covering for themselves. Thereupon their conductors 
took pity on them, and let them go, since which they have, it is said, 
continued to wear no other covering than the leaves of the said tree." 

The Koragars have been republished in the Madras Christian College 
Magazine, vol. Ill, pp. 824, 833. The contents of the nine lines (beginning 
with " The way in which," and ending with "all the trees thereon," con- 
cerning the ceremony of buying a slave) are omitted in this extract, and ar& 
found in another extract reprinted at the top of p. 172 in note 62. 

The passage on p. 197 beginning with : " Although these slaves are in a 
degraded position " and ending with : " They are also mortgaged for three 
or four pagodas," forms verbatim part of § 30 on p. 23 of Mr. Lavie's MS. 
It is found in the Madras Christian College Magazine on pages 828, 829. 
Mr. La vie resigned the service in 1848 and died in England in 1861. 

^' The Loeaditya Ray a of Buchanan is called Lokadiraya by Ramappa Kamic 
of Barkur in whose Memoirs of the Origin of Slaves in Dr. Shortt's Sill Ranges, 
Part IV, pp. 18 and 19, we read : " Formerly, a hero by name Hubashika 


What makes this tradition so interesting is that it con- 
nects Hubasika with the Kadambas; for Candrasena, the 
ruler of the Tuluva country, was a kinsman of Trinetra 
Kadamba. Trinetra is a favorite name in this dynasty. 
Candrasena had a son Lokaditya, who married a daughter 
of Trinetra Kadamba. The daughter of this Lokaditya and 
of the Kadamba princess Kanaka vati was asked in marriage 
by Hubasika, the king of the Candalas. Lokaditya pretended 
to favour the suit, and invited the intended bridegroom to 
his capital Tripura to celebrate the marriage. Shortly after 
his arrival Hubasika and his retinue were treacherously 
assailed and massacred by the soldiers of Lokaditya and 

These accounts differ very considerably. According to 
some Hubasika died owing to the enchantments of Vira 
Varma, according to others he was killed by Lokaditya, to 

became famous amongst the Chandalas, subdued the king Lokadiraya and 
was ruling with his caste men. King Chendashena, with the view of getting 
rid of Hubashika, proposed a marriage between Hubashika and Chendasena's 
sister, and invited the bridegroom and his caste men to the nuptials. The 
invitation being complied with, a wholesale massacre of the guests ensued, 
many fell victims to the plot, a few escaped, others were imprisoned and made 
over to Brahmans to be employed in tilling their lands. As the captives 
belonged to the camp of the enemy, it was declared that the Chandalas 
should be punished by their respective masters for faults committed by them ; 
that they should for ever remain under subordination to others ; that they 
should possess no authority whatever ; and that they should be allowed only 
the daily ratio of food rather than permit them to have at their disposal, the 
previous day, means for providing themselves with the necessaries of the 
next day. Thus doomed to bondage for ever, the Chandalas were transferred 
along with the lands to the subsequent Nadavar and Brahman pxirohasers 
Those who had escaped during the aforesaid crisis had returned home, pur- 
sued their avocations and lived an independent life . . The Soppu Koragars 
also appear to have been in some localities attached to land and in others to 
have enjoyed liberty." 

With respect to the Kadambas the main printed information so far as 
the subject concerns us here is contained in H. H. Wilson's Mackenzie Collec- 
tion, Introduction, pp. lix, 1, ci-oiii, 96-97 (new edition, pp. 36, 60, 62, 149 

I have consulted the MSS. in the Government Oriental MSS. Library 
on which are mostly founded the conclusions of Wilson. Bead also Mr. L. 
Eice's Mysore and Coorg, vol. I, pp. 19i, 195. 


whom Buchanan ascribed the expulsion of the Koragas after 
the death of Hubasika. The relationship of the Kadamba 
princes is also given differently ; still these contradictions 
need not invalidate the main part of the tradition concerning 

If we could recognise in this prince a real historical 
personage, an important step would have been gained towards 
fixing the period of these events. The life of the first 
Triaetra Kadamba is placed by some at the beginning 
of the second century A.D., and this is the very period 
which the coins supply concerning the reign of Huviska 
or Hooerkes, king of the Korano, who would have been thus 
a contemporary of Hubasika, kiug of the Koragas. 

The mighty Scythian king Kadphises II was succeeded 
in North- Western India by king Kaniska or Kanerkes, who 
initiated in A.D. 78 the Saka Era, as has been first sug- 
gested by the late Mr. James Fergusson. Kaniska or 
Kanerkes was followed in his reign about 110 A.D. by 
Huviska or Hooerkes. The latter forms prevail on the coins, 
while the records contain the former. The Korano or Kusan 
are identical with the Yueh-chi, the Chinese name of this 
tribe, commonly known to us as Indo-Scythians. 

The Gauda-Dravidian race, as I have repeatedly pointed 
out, was not confined to India, some of its branches having 
remained on the northern frontier of the Indian continent. 
The invasion by the Korano can thus be appropriately 
explained as an inroad into India made by a kindred 
tribe, and leads to the suggestion that Hitbasika, king of 
the Koragas, may be identified with Huviska, king of the 
Korano or Kusan. As Huviska's reign falls in the first 
half of the second century A.D., the period of Hubasika's 
reported invasion will be fixed if Hubasika and Huviska are 
one and the same person. 

Moreover, there are different kings of the name Trinetra 
among the Kadambas. The first Trinetra lived according 


to native tradition early in the Kaliyuga, while H. H. Wilson 
places his reign in the second half of the second century A.D. 
Mayura Varma, the Myuru Varma of Buchanan, either the 
third or the sixth king of this dynasty, had a son Trinetra 
Kadamba, also known as Ksetra Varma and Candragada. 
He was the brother-in-law of Lokaditya, the son of Oandra- 
sena. Great confusion prevails in this matter. 

The resemblance between the two names Hulasika and 
Huviska is so great, that one might suspect them to be iden- 
tical. If this is the case, we must consider whether there 
existed only one or two or more kings of this same name. 
If only one king of this name ruled, his exploits must have 
been transferred to a subsequent period, in order to confer 
on the then reigning dynasty (in this circumstance on the 
race of the Kadambas *^) the glory of having slain such a 
distinguished sovereign. If we can trace more than one ruler 
of the name of Huviska (Hubasika), the difficulty as to the 
date is removed. Yet, I feel inclined to assume that only 
one king of this name did exist, and that Hubasika's or 
Huviska's invasion is separated from Lokaditya's reign by a 
long intervening period. The identity of the original Huba- 
sika with Huviska will be of considerable historical interest, 
as it proves the great impression which the invasions of 
the Indo-Scythians made on the mind of the Indian people. 
The similarity between Korano and Koraga, the names of 
the tribes over whom Huviska and Hubasika respectively 
ruled, must also not be overlooked. 

Mayura Varma is credited with having introduced Brah- 
mans to Kanara. His capital was Banavasi, already men- 
tioned by Ptolemy (VII, 1, 83) as Bavaovaaei. 

The change of an r into a sibilant does not offer any 
philological difficulty, especially in Sanskrit, so that the 
forms Kaniska and Huviska require no particular explanation, 
if the original national pronounciation preferred an r and 

«« See p. 264. 


was Kanerkes and Hooerkes. Certain euphonic rules even 
necessitate the above-mentioned change in Sanskrit. The 
Gauda-Dravidian languages are not very strict in the use of 
the liquids r and /, and the letter I is at times pronounced 
like an I or an r, and even, though faulty, like an s.*' 

The Koragas, whom Buchanan calls Corawar, though 
treated like out-oastes, yet acknowledge caste-distinctions 
among themselves. They are known as Ande Koragas, Vastra 
Koragas and Snppu Koragas. They are divided besides into 
five tribes. The names of two of these are lost. The others 
are called Bangaranna, Kumaranna, and Mungaranna. 

I explain the word Koraga in the same manner as 
Kodaga, both names being derivatives of ko, mountain. 
Dr. Francis Buchanan calls the Koragas, as above men- 

" Atout tliese rulers and especially atout Smislca or Hooerkes, compare 
besides other writings the Catalogue of the Greek and Scythic kings of Sactria 
and India in the British Museumhy Percy Gardner, ll.d., edited by Reginald 
S. Poole, LL.D., Introduction, pp. xlix-li : " The evidence derived from 
the style and epigraphy of coins seems to show that Kadphises I. and 
Kadaphes ruled hut a part of North- West India. When Kadphises came 
in as an invader from the north, he found Hermaeus ruling in the Kabul 
Valley, and reduced him to a state of dependence . . . The Yueh-chi did 
not rapidly extend their dominion in India . . Only on the accession of the 
second Kadphises did the power of the invaders become altogether predomi- 
nant . . Kadphises II., Ooemo Kadphises, was a wealthy monarch, and the 
founder of a powerful line of Scythic kings, as to whom inscriptions give us 
some information. His date is about the middle of the first century A.D. 
His successors are the kings called on their coins Kanerkes and Hooerkes, 
and in the records Kauishka and Huvishka. Their rule comprised the 
whole of North- West India and the Kabul Valley." See further pp. 129, 
158, 175 ; H. H. Wilson's Ariana Antigua, pp. 5, 9, 347-377 ; The Archie- 
ological Survey of India by Sir Alexander Cunningham, vol. II, p. 238 ; vol. 
II, pp. 10, 43, 44, 63-70, 88, 159, 162, 168 ; vol. Ill, pp. 30, 32 ; vol. V, p. 
57 ; vol. XIV, p. 53 ; vol. XVI, Pref., P. IV; Indian Antiquary, vol. VI, pp. 
217-19 ; vol. X, pp. 213, 216 ; vol. XVII contains the article on " Zoroastian 
Deities on Indo-Scythian Coins" by M. Aurel Stein, Ph.D., to which I 
wish to draw attention, though I cannot as yet see my way to agree with 
him in his, at all events, ingenious conjecture of identifying the Greek P 
which he himself pronounces repeatedly r with the sibilant s. 

The Banavasei {Bau'aaiffet and Bamovaa-et) of Ptolemy has been differently 
explained. Some take it for Kundapur, others for Konkanapura, Kokanur 
and Anegundi. See Mr. T. W. McCrindle's Ancient India as described by 
Ftolemy, p. 179. 


tioned, also Corawar. The Koravas or Koramas, moun- 
taineers, are indeed a tribe widely spread in Southern India. 
They are identical with the Kuruvas, of whom I shall speak 
later on. To the mountain climbing Malaca, whom I 
noticed on p. 21, correspond the terms Koraca, Korea and 
Korsa unless they are taken as modifications of Korava. 
We find these people especially in the Kanarese districts. 
They are well known as basket-makers.^' 

The Todas. 

The Todas or Tudas, as these pastoral rulers of the 
Blue Mountains, or Nllagiri of South India, are generally 
called, have to a certain extent baffled all inquiries con- 
cerning their origin. But there is no doubt that they belong 
to the Gaudian branch of the Gauda-Dravidian group. The 
supposition that the Todas are connected with the African 
Ethiopian has, I think, no foundation whatever.^' 

The question whether they are aborigines of, or immi- 
grants into, the country they at present inhabit, has been 
much discussed. The probability is that, according to their 
traditions, they left their original abodes and settled on the 
Nilagiri mountain range ; but the time when this migration 
actually took place is shrouded in mystery. Yet, even if 
they ascended from the plains to the Nilagiri hills, this 
circumstance does not militate against the fact that originally 
in their old homes they were mountaineers. At all events 
very many centuries must have elapsed since their settlement 
on the Nilagiri. They possess, so far as we can ascertain, 
no trustworthy traditions, no inscriptions, nor any literature 
concerning their ancient history. 

«8Seep. 97. 

^* See Lieutenant-Colonel W. E. Marshall's A Phrenologist amongst the 
Todas, p. 4 : " There is much of the ' blameless Ethiopian ' about them : 
something of the Jew and of the Chaldaean in their appearance." "On 
the eve of sending this work to the press, I would beg again to urge my 
belief in the connection between the Dravidian Toda and the Ethiop." 


The Todas are divided into five clans, namely: Paiki, 
Pekkun, Kuttan, Kenna and Todi. We meet tlie term Paiki 
again among the Hnle-paikis of Naga, and the Kumdra- 
palkas of North ICanara, who make toddy-drawing their 
chief occupation. The' Hale-paikis of Manjarabad are 
called Devara makkalu or children of God, and the Paikis 
who take the lead among the Todas, for from them the 
Palal or high-priest is chosen, call themselves also Der nwkh, 
or children of God.'" 

The derivation of Paiki is obscure ; can it be connected 
•with the Telugu postposition pai, above ? 

'" In The Tribes inhabiting the Neilgherry Bills, Mangalore, 1864, the Rev. 
F. Metz says on p. 14 : " At what period the Todas first came to and settled 
upon the Neilgherries, we have no means of ascertaining ; for they have no 
literature, nor any inscriptions, and such of their traditions as I have 
hitherto heard them mention afEord no clue whatever by which this 
mystery can be unravelled. From their legends, and some particular 
words contained in their language, I am led to think that, prior to 
migrating to these Hills, they must, perhaps for centuries, have inhabited 
a range lying to the North-East, in the direction of Hassanoor, beyond 
the Gazelhutty pass. Part of the tribe appears to have settled in a 
northern direction near Collegal ; for I am frequently pressed to go and visit 
them and bring back intelligence respecting their condition in life ; 
prosperity with the Todas, as in patriarchal times, consisting in the number 
and extent of their heads." See also An Account oftlie Tribes on the Neil- 
gherries, hy 3. Shortt, M.D., Madras, 1868, pp. 4-42. On p. 4 he writes: 
' ' Todawars, or Torawurs, who are reputed to be the aborigines, and, it is 
said, were once clad in leaves and roamed as free and unrestrained lords of 
the soil, leading a pastoral nomadic life. . . Todawars, or Torawurs — the literal 
name given to herdsmen in the Tamil language — are the principal tribe, and 
are believed to be the original inhabitants, as well as the territorial 
sovereigns of these Hill tracts. Wot only do the Todara themselves claim 
this priority of existence and possession, hut the right is conceded to them 
by the other Hill tribes, who, in recognition of it, always paid a tribute to 
their Toda lords, consisting of one-sixth of the produce in kind; but, under the 
British Government, this practice is being gradually discontinued. . . The 
Toda or Thoddur tribe consists of five distinct intersections or sub-divisions, 
namely (1) Peiky ; (2) Pekkan ; (3) Kuttan ; (4) Kenna ; and (5) Tody. . . 
(On p. 7.) The Todawars are entirely a pastoral race, and lead a peaceful 
tranquil life, chiefly employed in tending their cattle. They carry no weapon 
of offence or defence for protection against enemies of their own kind or 
wild beasts, except a cowherd's wand or staff, which is made of jmigle wood 
generally, about 4J feet long with a large knob or head." Compare further 
ibidem a Geographical and Statistical Memoir of a Survey on the Neilgherry 
Mountains, by Captain J. Ouchterlony, 1847, pp. 51-52 : " This remarkable 
race differs in almost every essential respect from all other tribes of the 



They also do not show much interest in the old cairns, 
kistvains, sepulchral structures, and other remains that are 
found scattered all over these mountains, though they claim 
some as their own. It is, therefore, still a matter of some 
douht whether these relics ought to be assigned to them in 
preference to the Kurumbas, who may perhaps have a more 
legitimate title to their possession. From many indications 
it would appear that the people who erected these stone 
buildings must have been agriculturists. The Todas, on the 

natives of Hindustan, and their singular characteristics and strange hahits 
have given rise to much speculation as to their origin and history. As no 
clue has however yet been discovered either in the form of monuments, coins, 
or even in their own traditions, by which research could be directed, all 
theories broached upon the subject cannot be otherwise than vain and iUueory, 
especially those which have been based upon the assumption that the 
images, bones, and other relics which are found in the remarkable ' cairns,' 
discovered in such numbers all over the HiUs, belonged to the ancestors of 
the Todars. . . (On p. 63.) Their occupation is purely pastoral; their only 
manual labor being the milking of the buHaloes, and converting portions of 
their milk into butter and ghee." Consult An Accoinit of the Primitive Tribes 
and Momtments of the Nllagiris, by the late James Wilkinson Breeks, edited 
by his widow ; London, 1873, pp. 26 and 27 • "The burning at funerals 
of a mimic bow and arrow together with the daily-used implements of 
the deceased, and the importance assigned to the bow in the marriage cere- 
mony, seem to me inexplicable, except on the theory that the bow was 
once the chief weapon of the Todas, although they are ignorant of its use 
now. This view is in a measure confirmed by the Todas' admission that 
their ancestors ate eamber flesh, and that they would gladly do so now if they 
could obtain it ; and by the fact that they still recognise, and make offerings 
to, a hunting God vmder the name of Betikhan, who, though he now resides 
in a temple at Nambilicote beyond Gudaltlr, is, they say, the son of their 
ancestor, Dirkish. The question then arises : how, and when did the bow fall 
into disuse with the Todas ? . . The answer could seem to be found in the 
tradition mentioned by Colonel Ouchterlony, viz. — that before the Badagas 
and Kotas came to the HiUs, the Todas lived only by their herds, and wore 
leaves. As far as the leaf dresses go, the story seems apocryphal. If the 
Todas had only adopted clothes after the arrival of the Badagas and Kotas, 
their garments would probably have Badaga or Kota names, whereas 
piitkuU, tharp, konu, #«., are among the few Toda words which Mr. Metz can 
trace to no Dravidian roots. Besides, a hunting race would certainly wear 
skins : however, the story probably contains some truth. Before the culti- 
vating tribes settled in the Hills, the Todas, unless they killed their cattle, 
would have no means of obtaining solid food except by hunting, for their 
traf&c with the Western Coast must have been too intermittent and insigni- 
ficant to be depended on for subsistence. Probably they were then expert 
in the use of the bow." Kead further A Fhrenologist amongst the Todas, by 


other hand, are now shepherds, and lead a simple pastoral and 
nomadic life. They do not devote themselves to the culti- 
vation of the son, an occupation which the Badagas, who 
immigrated at a later period, especially follow. Yet the 
assumption that the Todas have always led a pastoral life, if 
substantiated, seems to speak against the connection of the 
Todas with such structures. However, it is quite possible 
that the sickles found in the cairns may have been used for 
other than agricultural purposes.'^ 

Lieutenant-Colonel William E. Marshall, London, 1873, pp. 2-8 and 136, 
and A Manual of the Nllagiri District, by H. B. Grigg, Madras, 1880, pp. 
183-202. Compare about the Faiki Mr. Lewis Rice's Mysore Inscriptions, 
Introduction, pp. xxxiii, xxxiv, and Metz, p. 35. 

" See Rev. F. Metz, ibidem, p. 13 : " Some few of the Todas maintain that 
the cairns are the work of their ancestors, but these are men who have been 
examined by Europeans. The majority, and especially the most respectable 
of them, do not hold this opinion, and it would be a strange anomaly indeed 
in a people so proverbial for their respect for the dead, to allow, as the Todas 
do, these places of interment to be rudely disturbed and desecrated by the 
hands of strangers, did they believe them to be the veceptacles of the ashes 
of their forefathers. Many of the circles constructed of loose stones which 
have been taken to be deserted temples of this tribe, were doubtless nothing 
more than bufialo-pens." And on p. 124 : " During the 13 years that I have 
labored amongst and mixed with the [hill-tribes, I have never found the 
Todas in any way interested in the cairns, whilst the fact of their making no 
objection to their being opened, taken in connection with the circumstance 
of the contents frequently consisting of plough-shares, sickles and other 
implements of husbandry, showing that the cairns were constructed by an 
agricultural race, which the Todas never were, are to me convincing proofs 
that they are not the work of the Todas of a past generation." The Rev. 
Mr. Metz states that such kist-vains are called Moriaru mane, house 
of the Morias, and recognises in the latter the Mauryas or TJsbeck Tatars. 
Is it perhaps possible, to connect the term Moriaru with the Mar tribe ? 
Peculiarly enough Mer is the Toda expression for the Kundahs, as in the 
Toda name MerkoMl for Kotagiri, i.e., the Kota village (Kokal) of the 
Kundahs, see Breeks, p. 36. Compare Captain Congreve's article : The 
Antiquities of the Neilgherry Hills, including an Inquiry into the Descent of 
the Thauta/oars or Todars, in the Madras Journal oj Literature and Science, 1 847, 
vol. XIV, No. 32, pp. 77-146. Lieutenant-Colonel Congreve contends that 
the Todas were the constructors of the old cairns and he gives on pp. 84, 85 
his reasons for it : "1st. The shape of the cairns : a Circle of stones similar 
to that of the cemeteries of the Thautawars at this day. 2nd. The basins 
and other utensils, knives, arrow-heads, shreds of cloth, mingled with charcoal 
and bones found in the cairns are precisely the same articles buried at the 
funeral of a modem Thautawar. 3rd. In both cases these things are deposited 


Some of their legends connect the Todas with the Raksasa 
king Bdvana, others with his great antagonist, Rama. The 
ancestors of the Todas are said to have been the palanqiiia 
hearers of Eavana ; if so, they belong to the Grauda-Dravi- 

in holea under large slabs in the middle of the cemeteries. 4th. The nu- 
merous figures of buffaloes, some with hells round their necks, made of 
pottery, found in the cairns are monuments of the antiquity of the Thau- 
tawar custom of sacrificing huiJaloes decorated with hells at funerals. 5th. 
In every case I have observed a Thautawar village situated contiguously to 
the cairn, manifesting some connection. 6th. The Thautawara claim to he 
the original proprietors of the land, a claim acknowledged by the English, as 
well as the Native inhabitants of the Hills. 7th. The prevailing opinion 
amongst the latter that these cairns belonged to the early Thautawar people. 
8th. The absence of any inscription on any of the vessels dug out of the 
cairns, considered with reference to the fact of the Thautawars having no 
written language. 9th. The circumstance of some lascars attempting 
to open a cairn in search of treasure being compelled to desist in their 
enterprize by the Thautawars of an adjoining village." Dr. Shortt, in 
the article above mentioned, says on p. 45: "The Todas themselves 
attribute the cairns found on the Neilgherries, sometimes to a people 
who preceded them, at others to the Kurumbas, and that they formed their 
burial places ... It is generally believed by the Natives that these cairns 
and cromlechs are the work of the followers of the Pandean Kings, and that 
they at one time ruled on the Neilgherries also. The Todas and Badagas 
likewise believe this, while some of them attribute them to the Kurumbas. 
The Rev. Mr. Metz is also of the latter opinion, and I am inclined to coincide 
with this gentleman." See also J. W. Breeks' Frimihve Tribes of the Nlla- 
ffiris, pp. 72-110 ; p. 95 : " The Perangauad cairns, lyingbetweenKotagherry 
and Kodanad, difl^er less from those at Tuneri ; the figures are generally 
smaller and rougher, and the colour darker, but the urns are often very fine 
with strong glaze of mica . . It is, however, remarkable that the rougher 
remains are found in the division in which lie the two (probably) oldest Toda 
mands, and the only cairns claimed by the Todas. . (On p. 96.) At one time 
they were generally assigned to the Todas ; and Colonel Congreve wrote an 
elaborate essay to prove the Scythian origin of this people and their claim 
to the cairns. His large theories, and occasionally incorrect facts, dis- 
credited his cause rather unduly, and of late years the cairns have been 
generally attributed either to the Kurumbas or to an extinct race. Those 
who held these views, however, seem to have been unaware of, or to have 
overlooked, the significant fact that the Todas even now burn their dead 
in a circle of stones and bury the ashes there. Now, not only may the 
circle of stones be called the fundamental idea of cairns and barrows, but 
some of them consist of insignificant circles of stones, hardly to be distin- 
guished from Toda Azdrams except by the trees or bushes which indicate 
their greater age... (On p. 97.) It will be seen that these old Azdnims 
(supposing them to be A-iirmns), shew one or two marked points of approxi- 
mation to the cairns. 1st. They prove that metal ornaments and objects 


dian race, of whom Ravana was an ancient representative. 
This report is more likely to be true than that which des- 
crihes them as Rama's followers who eventually settled in 
the south. '^ 

of value were in old times actually turied by the Todas, instead of being, 
as now, only offered to the flames and taken away. 2nd. These objects 
include iron spears, chisels, and styles f at present unused by the Todas, 
but common in the cairns. The spears were of rather different shape 
from most of those figured. An old Toda, who had had possession of the 
spear of Koten, but professed to have lost it, told me that it was something 
like these, but longer. The style is very like some used in Malabar, hol- 
low at the top ; one cannot, however, imagine that writing ■ was ever a 
Toda accomplishment ; it may have been used for marking pottery. 3rd. 
The receptacle for the ashes and remains, instead of being indifferently 
placed at any side of the circle, was, in three cases out of four, at the 
north-east edge... (On p. 99.) Against the theory that the cairns belong to the 
Todas, it has been urged that they do not claim them. This is not strictly 
correct ; they do, as has been shewn, claim some. But even if the statement 
were entirely true, it is not of much consequence with a people like Todas. 
I have known a Toda, while pointing out the Azaram in which a funeral 
ceremony then going forward was to terminate, profess entire ignorance of 
the object of some other stone circles close at hand, obviously old Azarams 
belonging to the same mand ; so that their disclaimer of the cairns carries 
little weight. It has been further stated that the cairns contain agricul- 
tural implements, and must therefore have belonged to a comparatively 
civilized people. Except the curious shears, which may have been used for 
various purposes, the only agricultural implements which have appeared in 
these investigations are sickles. These may have been used for cutting 
grass and bushes, and it is singular that, although the Todas do not now 
use any tool of the kind, they bum with the dead the Kafkatti, a. large 
curved knife, apparently intended for some such purpose, although, except 
in one instance , the cairn sickles are of different shape. The Kafkatti, 
when committed to the flames, is bound round with cotton cloth, traces of 
which are often found on the razors in the cairns. On the whole, I think 
it is more satisfactory to assign the cairns to the Todas than to an unknown 
race." Bead also Mr. H. B. Grigg's Manual of the Ntlagiri District, pp. 229- 
247 ; about the origin of the remains, see p. 241 ; and about the sculptured 
cromlechs consult this passage : "As regards the third class of monuments, 
none of the present hill inhabitants of the Hills are capable of executing sculp- 
tures of even so elementary a degree of art as those on the cromlechs." Mr. 
M. J. Walhouse has in the third and fifth volumes of the Indian Antiquary 
written some articles on the funerals, &c., of the Todas, and in vol. TI., 
p. 41, he says: "At any rate it is clear that these circles (Azarams) are 
claimed and formed by the Todas." 

■" See Captain A. Harkness's Description of » singular Aboriginal Sace 
inhabiting the Summit of the Neilgherry Sills, pp. 24, 25 : "They have 
some tradition bearing reference to a period about the time of Ravan, 


The Todas have five kinds of priests, of whom the Pdldh 
are held in the greatest sanctity. The Palais, who are five 
in number, belong to the highest class of the Todas and 
have charge of the sacred hells, which they carry to every 
Mand or hamlet. Tliey subsist on the milk of the sacred herd, 
and have a Kavalal as their attendant. The other priests of 
lower degree are the Varlal, Kokvali, Kurpuli and Pali- 
karpal. The temples, which are of two kinds, are called 
Boa and Palci, the former being sugarloaf-shaped and the 
latter like an ordinary house. There are, at present, only 
four Boas in existence ; thny may have originally belonged to 
some other race, as the Todas do not appear to hold them 
in very great respect, and their ministering priests belong 
only to the second rank. 

The Todas have a large pantheon, but they revere par- 
ticularly a hunting god called Bet.alrai, the son of Dirkish, 
the son of En, the first Toda. His temple is at Nambala- 
kod, in the Wainad. Besides him they worship Siriadeva, 
whose representative is the sacred buffalo-bell, which hangs 
from the neck of the finest buffalo of the sacred herd,'* 
The buffalo is indigenous only in the south-east of Asia, 

when they say they inhabited the low country. One among these is that 
their lorefathera were the subjects of Ravan, and that, being aftei-wards 
unable to bear the severities imposed on them by the successful Ravan, 
they fled to these mountains as a place of refuge, dri^'ing their herds before 
them, carrjdng their females and children on their shoulders, and vowing 
to wear no covering on their heads tiU they had wreaked their vengeance 
on their oppressors." Congreve, loco citato, p. 110, says on the contrary: 
" The Thautawars have a tradition that their ancestors were subjects of 
Eavannah with whom they fled before Ramah." About the legend of the 
Todas having been the palanquin bearers of Rftvana, see Mr. H. B. Grigg's 
Manual, pp. 202, 252 and 256. About their coming with Rama consult 
the Rev. F. Metz, ibidem, p. 46: "The Brahmins of the plains maintain 
that the Todas were followers in the train of Rama when he came from the 
North to a\enge himself on Ravana and that desiring independence they 
deserted, and fled to the Hills ; but of this tradition the Todas themselves 
know nothing" ; read also p. 6.5 ; and Mr. Grigg's Manual, p. 258. 

'3 Read Mr. J. W. Breeke' Account of the Frimitive Tribes and Monu- 
ments of the Nilagiris, pp. 13-17; and Mr. H. B. Grigg's Manual, pp. 


i.e., in South India, Burma and parts of China. It is not a 
native of the North- West. The most valuable property of 
the original inhabitants must have been formed by the herds 
of these animals, which were and are still highly esteemed 
and regarded worthy of carrying the symbol of the deity. 
The worship of the buffalo is a most striking feature and 
can only be traced to very ancient times. The buiialo figures 
also in Mdhismati, a town founded by king Mahismat, whose 
name implies that he was rich in buffaloes. The worship 
of the fire, or of Agni, prevailed here, and women were 
allowed unrestricted liberty in the choice of their husbands. 
The city was situated in the plateau south of the Goda- 
vari, most probably on a tributary of the Krishna. King 
Nila of Daksinapatha reigned here. He is mentioned as 
an ally of Duryodhana, though he was killed in battle by the 
son of Drona.'* The people of king Nila are called the 
Mdhisakas, and are mentioned in the Sloka previously to 
the Kohagireyas, the inhabitants of Koha or Kolagiri. This 
circumstance places the Mahisakas locally in proximity with 
the Grond tribes. Mysore or Mahisdsura, the country named 
according to tradition after the buffalo-shaped Asura Mahisa, 
may have been a part of king Nila's empire. The Nilagiri 
mountains and Mysore are conterminous. The name of the 
Asura Mahisa is in this case also used as representing the 

'* Compare the Vdy5gapana XVIII, 23, 24 of the Mahabharata : 
Sa ca samprapya Kauravyam tatraivaatardadhe tada, 
tatha Mahismatlvasl NUo Nllayudhais saha 23. 

Mahipato mahavlryair Daksinapathavasibhih. 24. 

and ibidem, Dronaparva XXXI, 24,25. 

Sa plutah syandamat tasman-NllaScarmavarasibhrt 
DraimayanSh Sirah kayaddhartum aicchat patattrivat. 24. 
Tasyomiatamsajn sunasam Sirah kayat sakundalam 
BallSnapaharad-Draunih smayamana ivanagha. 25. 

See Christian Lassen's Indisehe Alterthumshunde, vol. I, pp. 681-683 (or 
567-569 ia the first edition). 

About the town MaUamati (MahsSvara) on the Narmada in Indore com- 
pare the article " MaheSvara in Malwa " by Eaoji Vaaudeva Tullu, m.a., in 
the Indirni Antiqmry, vol. IV. (1876), pp. 346-348. 


people of the Mahisas or Maldsakis, a circumstance to which 
I have previously on p. 14 drawn attention in the case of 
the demons Bala, Malla and others. 

The word JIa/ikc has when combined with the Marathi 
Bd for Bclpa, father, assumed the form of ilahsohd, and the 
demon Mahsoba is to this day held in high veneration among 
the cultivators and the lower classes of the population. A 
stoneblock generally covered with red-lead colour and stand- 
ing in a circle of other stones serves as his representative. 
The structure resembles in this respect the rude stones wor- 
shipped by the Kurumbas. Of these I shall speak later on. 
The worship of the buffalo to which the Todas still adhere is 
very interesting and may perhaps indicate the origin of this 
ancient tribe. Some Gond tribes also sacrifice the buffalo. 
This subject deserves to be fully enquired into." 

Like other primitive races of Turanian or Scythian 
origin, the Todas revere the great luminaries of the sky, the 
Sun and the Moon, besides the Fire. They have a very 

" Durga or Bhavam killed the buffalo-shaped Asura Mahisa, the well- 
known MaMsasura, after whom Mysore is called. 

According to the legend in the MarkandSyapurana Diti had lost all her 
sons, the Asuras, in thehattle between the Gods and the Asuras. With the 
object to anihilate the Gods she assumed the shiipe of a buffalo, and under- 
went such dreadful austerities in order to propitiate Brahma, and to obtain a 
son, that the whole vrorld was shaken in its foundations and what was worse, 
the sage Suparsva, was disturbed in his quiet hermitage. He therefore cursed 
Diti to bring forth a buffalo instead of a human-shaped son. Brahma miti- 
gated this curse by confining the buffalo form to the head and allowing the 
remainder of the body to be like that of a mau. This offspring was called 
Mahisasura who defeated the gods and Ul-treated them, till they appealed 
for help to Visuu and Siva, who jointly produced a beautiful representation 
of BhavanI, the Mahisdsuramardanl, who slew the monster. 

The Gazetteer of Aumngahad mentions Mahsoba on pp. 347 and 358 : 
" Mahishasura, who was slain by Parvati, and in honor of whom the feast 
of Dassura is celebrated, is probably Mahsoba, a demon much worshipped 
by the lower classes and especially by the cultivators, for the purpose of 
rendering their fields fertile. The image is like a natural Linga, consisting 
of any rounded stone of considerable size, found in the comer or to the side 
of a field. This when covered with red-lead becomes Mahsoba, to which 
prayers are addressed, and cocoanuts, fowls, and goats are offered (p. 347). . 
On the southern side of the Chauki pass, in the Lakenwara range between 
Aurangabad and Phulmari, there is a shrine of Mahsoba, consisting of a 


dim idea of the divine powers; they possess hardly any 
religious rites ; hut they firmly believe in the existence of a 
life after death, in a heaven for the good and a hell for 
the bad. 

The ceremonies at births, marriages and funerals are 
very curious and have often been described. They burn 
their dead with the face downwards, a custom which prevails 
still among the aborigines of some parts of Central India. 
The Todas go always bareheaded, as also do the Khonds. 
The habit of polyandry peculiar to the Gauda-Dravidian 
race is also prevalent among the Todas. 

The interest which this tribe has excited is mainly due to 
their fine and striking appearance so different from that of 
other races and to their dwelling in a most picturesque country. 
The Todas are regarded by the other hill tribes as the lords 
of the soil, and as such exact a tribute (gudu) from them. 
How they obtained this supremacy is unknown, and the 
acquisition of their influence is the more remarkable, as, 
unless they have greatly changed since their first appearance, 
they are not a war-Hke race, and could not have forced their 
way into these hills with the aid of arms. The fact that 
the Todas enjoy this peaceful supremacy proves them to 
be very ancient, if not the aboriginal inhabitants of these 
Hills. The Todas are steadily decreasing in nimibers and, 
according to the last census, numbered only 689. Their 
reputation as sorcerers stood them in good stead and perhaps 
frightened into submission those who might otherwise have 
molested them. The Todas alone among the hill tribes 

block of stone surrounded -witli smaller pieces, and all covered with red-lead. 
During the jatra which is held in the month of Chaitra, and lasts for four 
days, people of aU castes, hut especially the Kunbis, flock from a circle of a 
hundred miles, and offer many sheep in sacrifice." 

The buffalo was the carrier of Yama, and he is therefore also known as 
Mahisadhvaja and Mahiaavahana. Skanda is known as Mahimrdana, and 
one of his Matris is called Mahiadnana. Mahisa or Mahisa, Mahisaka or 
Mahisaka are names of people. MahiaasthaU is the name of a place, Mdhisya 
that of a mixed caste, and 3[dhi§ika besides meaning a herdsman is also used 
in the sense of a man who lives by the prostitution of his wife. — Seep. 164. 



are not afraid 6i the Kurumbas, who are generally shunned 
as wizards. 

Very many conjectures have been ventured to explain 
the term Toda or Tuda. The d in this word is, according to 
Bishop Caldwell and the Eev. Mr. Metz, dental and not 
lingual, as the Rev. Dr. Pope is inclined to believe, for he 
spells it Tuda. Dr. Pope does so probably to support the 
derivation he proposes. He connects the name of the Toda 
with the Tamil word Tolam, herd, and derives from it a pro- 
blematic word Tolan, in the sense of herdsman. The modern 
Tamil Tolu, a fold for cattle, is the root of Toluvam which is 
again contracted into Tolam. Toluvar signifies according 
to the dictionaries agriculturists, but the word Tolar in this 
meaning is not given. Besides, the o in Tolar is long, while 
tha^in Toda is short. Moreover, the people who keep these 
cattle-stalls are not herdsmen, but agriculturists. On the 
other hand the Todas are a pastoral, and not an agricultural 

Having met with no explanation which satisfies me, I 
venture to propose one myself. I believe that the t in Toda 
or Tuda is a modification of an original k, and that the real 
name is Koda or Kuda. This I explain as a derivation of 

■" See Dr. "Winslow's Tamil and English Dictionary, p. 636, where Tohmar 
Ofiir(i£iisuif is explained as agriculturists, isiQ^fiSsoLCiirsseir. In Col. 
Marshall's Phrenologist amongst the Todas the first note on p. 1 is as follows : 
" Todan. Tamil, Toravam and Toj-am = a herd. And thus Toravan or 
To!:an=: herdsman. (Pope)." Compare Bishop Caldwell' s Introduction Cow- 
parative Dravidian Grammar, p. 37 : " Dr. Pope connects the name of the 
Todas with the Tamil word Tora, a herd ; but the d of Tuda is not the 
lingual d, hut the dental, which has no relationship to r or I. The derivation 
of the name may be regarded as at present unknown." The Eev. F. Kittel 
writes to the Indian Antiquary, vol. Ill, p. 205 : "In Part XXIX of the 
Indian Antiquary, p. 93 seq. the name of a well-known smaU tribe on the 
Nilagiri is given as ' Toda.' The lingual d in this word is not in the 
mouth of the Nllagiri people, these pronouncing it ' Toda.' The same 
remark is to be applied to the word ' Xota ' on p. 96 ; the true spelling of 
this name is ' Kota.' The word ' Toda ' may mean ' man of the top,' soil, 
of the hills. ' Kota ' can be derived from various Drlviija roots ; it is 
difficult to say what its true meaning is. Certainly it does not mean ' cow- 
killer/ as some have thought." 


ko or ku, mountain and Koda or Kuda signifies then a 
mountaineer. The change of k into t is perhaps not very 
common, yet it takes place occasionally. The Tamil kel 
to ask, is, e.g., tal in Grondi; the Irula kdlage, helow, corres- 
ponds to tala in Tamil and Malayalam ; the Kurg kidatu and 
the Tamil kile, below, is tirt in Tulu. The town Eondota, 
mentioned by Ptolemy, is likewise called Tondota, and the 
district Khandesh is also known as Tandesh. The same change 
can be observed in the middle of a word, as the Sanskrit 
tilaka frontal mark, becomes optionally tilakani and tilatam in 
Tamil, and sdUvika is altered into cattumkam or cdttuvttam.^'' 

Peculiarly enough, when inquiring into their name, I 
was informed by various Natives and even by some Todas 
that the Todavar O^ir^wir are also called Kodavar Osn-^euir.''^ 

And this statement which supports my conjecture is up- 
held by several names of persons and places. I take thus 
Kodanad, which lies near Kotagiri, and is the seat of one of 
the Palais containing some of the most ancient Todamands 
in the sense of denoting the district of the Kodas.'^ One of 

" The generally accepted derivation of Telugu or Telinga ia from 
Trilinga, but this remains doubtful as the term Triliiga ia a corruption 
of Trikalinga, to which the Modogalingam of Pliny corresponds : " Insula 
in Grange eat magnas amplitudinis gentem contiueus nnam, Modogalingam 
nomine;" Hist. Natur. Lib. VI, cap. 22. If Telinga ia a modified form 
of Kalinga, this word would provide another example of the interchange 
between a k and t. About Tandesh, see p. 159, n. 54. 

The t is occasionally chosen as the representative of all the others con- 
sonants, Kaumarila is thus playfully changed into Tautdtita in Vedanta- 
deSikacftrya's Tattvamuktdkaldpa, and paduka into tdtuta in the Fdduko' 
sahasra of the same author. 

'8 T. C. Maduranayaka PiUai, the clerk of Major- General Morgan, 
has told me of his own accord that he has often heard the Todavar call 
themselves and be called Kodavar. Some Kotas whom I asked confirmed 
this evidence. A few Todas told me the same. They might have said so 
to please me, but they had no reason for so doing, as I had not expressed 
to them any opinion on that subject. 

'' Kodanad lies on the north of Paranganad. It contains one of the 
oldest mands and between it and Kotagiri are found the sculptured 
Cromlechs of Hlai uru. Some derive the name of Kodanad from kodan, the 
Toda word for monkey, which corresponds to the Kota term kode, and the 
Badaga, Kunimba, and Irula kormgu. But the presence of the common 


the ancestors of the Todas is called Koten,*" and the Huli- 
kaldrug is also named Kodatha-betta, after the god 

The Todas have many customs which are also met with 
among other tribes, e.g., among the Kols. But this coin- 
cidence does not prove the existence of any relationship. The 
same rites and practices often prevail among totally different 
people who live at a great distance from one another. The 
singular custom by which the youngest son becomes heir to 
the property in opposition to the law of primogeniture is 
observed by the Todas in South India as well as by some 
Holstein peasants in North Germany. 

brown monkey kodcm [turimi being the black monkey) is hardly a distinctive 
feature of any district on the hills. It is perhaps possible that the Todas 
changed the initial letter of their original name in order to avoid any 
allusion to that of the monkey. 

8" About Koten read Breeks' Primitive Tribes of the NUagiri, pp. 34, 36, 
37, 97, 99. Koten is said to have brought the Kotas up to the hills, though 
they are also represented to have been bom on ths hills, p. 36 : " KotSu went 
to the Kundahs, and established a Tiriari and Palais, and placed the Kotas 
at the Kimdah Kotagiri, called by the Todas Merkokal "... 37. " After this, 
KotSu went to a Kurumba village in Bani Shima, and on his return, when 
bathing in a stream, a hair of a golden colour came to his hand ; he followed 
it up stream to find the owner of the hair, and saw a Swami woman, by 
name Terkoah, whom he married. After this, KotSn returned home to his 
mand near the Avalanche. Koten slept on a deer skin, wore a silver 
ring, and carried a spear, bow, and arrow. On the night of his return he 
went to sleep, and in the morning nothing was found of him but his 
spear and ring and some blood on the deer-skin. He and Terkosh were 
transformed into two hills, . . on the Sisapara side of the hills, to which both 
Kurumbas and Todas pay occasional ceremonial visits. The Kurumbas light 
a lamp on the hill Terkosh. When the Todas see these two hills, they sing 
the song about Kotan. (Thus five gods are connected in these traditions 
with different hiUs, viz. : — Dirkish, Kodatha, Pursh, Koten, and Terkosh. 
If the Todas originally deified every hill, not an unnatm-al worship for 
mountaineers, the number of their gods, otherwise astonishing, is accounted 
for. The Todas, ia common with the other hill tribes, still offer ghee to be 
burnt to Maleswaramale)." 

*' About Kodatha read ibidem, p. 35 : " One day the Gods took counsel, 
saying ' why does the kite come here, let us drive him out '; so one of them, 
Kodatha, took the kite home to Kodatha-betta (Hulikaldurga), and pushed 
him over ; the kite, in falling, caught hold of a bamboo, with which he 
returned, and struck Kodatha's head, so that it split into three pieces." 


Thougli it is difficult as yet to decide definitively the 
ethnological status of the Todas, I believe I have been 
successful in assigning them to the Gaudian branch of the 
Gauda-Dravidian race. 

The Kotas. 

Next to the "Kurumbas and Todas the Kotas are the 
most ancient inhabitants of the Nilagiri range. According 
to Toda tradition Koten introduced them to these hills. 
Though they are regarded as the Pariah element among the 
hill-tribes, it is possible that they were originally more 
nearly related to the Todas, whom they call their annata- 
malu, i.e., brothers. They have many customs in common with 
the Todas, e.g., that which constitutes the youngest brother 
as heir of the house, a practice which seems also to prevail 
among the Kurumbas. They recognize no caste distinctions, 
but are sub-divided into Keris or streets. They are a very 
industrious tribe and devote themselves to agriculture and to 
various sorts of handicrafts. They excel as carpenters, smiths, 
tanners, basket-makers, &c. They acknowledge the Todas 
as the lords of the soil, and pay them tribute (gudu) . They 
are well-formed, of average height, not bad featured and fair- 
skinned. They live in seven villages, one of which is in the 
neighbourhood of Gudalur.^^ The last census fixes their 

8^ Compare Dr. Shortt's Account of the Tribes of the Neilgherries, pp. 
53-57: "This tribe ranks next to tlie Todas in priority of occupation of 
these hills. They have no caste, and are in this respect equal to the 
Pariahs of the low country ; and as a body, are the industrious of the 
hill tribes, giving much of their time and attention to agriculture and 
handicraft, &c. . . . They also employ themselves as Curriers, and are highly 
esteemed in the plains for the excellent leather they cure . . . They ac- 
knowledge the Todas as lords of the soil. . . At the same time they exact 
from each hamlet of the Badagas within certain distance of their own village, 
certain annual fees, which they receive in kind for services rendered as 
handicraftsmen, &o., in addition to that of ceremonial or festive occasions 
for menial services performed ... In confirmation of their having followed 
the Todas as settlers on these HUls they hold the best lands, and have 
the privilege of selecting the best whenever they wish to extend their hold, 
ings. They are well made and of tolerable height, rather good featured and 


number at 1,122 souls, 55 Kotas are assigned to the Bombay 


It seems probable that the Todas and Kotas lived near 
each other before the settlement of the latter on the Nilagiri. 
Their dialects too betray a great resemblance, and, if my 
coujecture concerning the original name of the Todas is 
confirmed, their names at first were also much alike.** The 
Kotas are the only hill people who are not afraid of the 
Todas, and they treat them occasionally even with bare 
courtesy, though, as a rule, a Kota, when meeting a Toda 
and Badaga, lifts both his hands to his face and makes his 
obeisance from a distance. They do also not, like the other 
hill-tribes, stand in awe of the mysterious power of witch- 
craft, with which the Todas are credited. 

According to a tradition of theirs they lived formerly 
on Kollimalai, a mountain in Mysore. *' They possess, like 
most Hindus, a tradition concerning their special creation. 
Their god, Kamataraya, perspired once profusely and " he 
" wiped from his forehead three drops of perspiration, and 
" oat of them formed the most ancient of the hill -tribes, viz., 
" the Todas, Kurumbas, and Kotas. The Todas were told to 
" live principally upon milk ; the Kurumbas were permitted 

light-skinned, having a copper color, and some of them are the fairest- 
skinned among the Hill tribes. They have well formed heads, covered 
■with long black hair, grown long and let loose, or tied up carelessly at 
the back of the head. . . The women are of moderate height, of fair build 
of body, and not nearly so good-looking as the men." Read also Breeks' 
Primitive Tribes of the Ntlagiris, pp. 40-47 ; and Metz, pp. 127-132. 

" The Census mentions 3,232 Kotamali in the North-Western Provinces, 
1,112 Kotalcas, .572 Eotayas and 1,076 Kottharas in Madras. 

s* See Rev. F. Metz, loco citato, p. 127: "The close affinity existing 
between the language of the Todas and that of the Kotas leads me to believe 
that both these tribes came from the same quarter, and that they probably 
settled on the Neilgherries at about the same period." 

9* See Metz, ibidem, p. 127 : " According to one of their traditions, the 
Kotas formerly lived on a mountain in Mysore, called KoUimale, after which 
they named the first village they built on the Neilgherries. They now 
occupy seven tolerably large villages, all of which are known by the general 
nama of Kotagiri, or Cow-killers' hill." 


" to eat the flesh of buffalo calves ; and the Kotas were 
" allowed perfect liberty in the choice of their food, being 
" informed that they might eat carrion, if they could get 
" nothing better, and beef also, though it is repulsive to all 
" Hindu notions." ^* 

It is wrong to connect the name of the Kotas with cow- 
slaying and to derive it from the Sanskrit go-hatya. This 
derivation seems to have been suggested from Kohatur, one 
of the corrupted forms of the name of the Kotar or Koter. 
According to the late Mr. Breeks, in his Primitive Tribes of 
the Nilagiris, p. 40 : " The Todas call them Kuof, or cow- 
people ; " but singularly enough the Toda word for cow is 
danam, like the Kurumba and Badaga dana. Dr. Pope on 
the other hand goes so far as to contend that the Todas had 
no word for cow ; a statement which I regard as extremely 
venturous. However in both circumstances, if the Todas 
have no term for cow, or if that term is danam, they could not 
have called the Kotas, Kuof or cow-people. Moreover, the 
Kotas would not call themselves by such a name, nor would 
the Todas and the other hill-tribes who have no knowledge of 
Sanskrit apply a Sanskrit word to designate their neighboiirs. 
The derivation of the term Kota is, as clearly indicated, from 
the Gauda-Dravidian wordAo, {ku), mountain, and the Kotas 
belong to the Q-audian branch.'" It is a peculiar coincidence 

^ Metz, pp. 27 and 128: "The Kotas are the only of all the hill 
tribes who practise the industrial arts, and they are therefore essential 
almost to the very existence of the other classes. They work in gold and 
sUver, are carpenters and hlacksmiths, tarjiers and rope-makers, umbrella- 
makers, potters, and musicians, and are at the same time cultivators of the 
soil. They are, however, a squalid race, living chiefly on carrion, and are 
on this account a bye-word among the other castes, who, while they feel that 
they cannot do without them, nevertheless abhor them for their filthy 
habits. All the cattle that die in the villages are carried off by the Kotas, 
and feasted on by them, in common with the vultures, with whose tastes 
their own precisely agree ; and at no time do the Kotas thrive so well as 
when there is murrain among the herds of the Todas and Badagas." 

8' See Breeks, p. 40 : " The name is found differently spelt. Kota, 
Kotar KotSr, Kohatur. The derivation is uncertain. Kohata or Gohata, 


that according to the statement of Mr. Eamiah, Deputy 
Superintendent of Mysore, the " Lingayet Panchalas (work- 
ers in metals) and Huttagars are called Kotars in this part 
of the country (Harihar), and they worship Kama (god) 
and Kurymena (goddess)." To this remark Mr. Breeks ^^ 
adds : " Also that a caste of the same name exists in Marwar 
and Guzerat." Dr. Fr. Buchanan makes a similar remark 
about the goddess of the Panoalas.*^ 

The occupation and the worship of the Mysore Kotas 
confirmed to a certain degree the tradition of the Nilagiri 
Kotas when they contend that they came from Mysore. 

co-w-tiller, has been suggested, but this seems doubtful. The Todas call 
them Kuof, or cow-people." Read also Mr. H. B. Grigg's District Manual, 
pp. 203-213. On p. 203 he says: "The name is differently spelt Kotu, 
Kster, Kotar, Kshatur and Kotturs. Its derivation is doubtful. The 
Todas call them Kuof or cow-men, and, arguing from this word, some 
connect it with Xo (Sans.) cow, and hatya, i.e., oow-MUing. The first part 
of the derivation is probably correct. They are emphatically men of the 
cow, as opposed to the buffalo, the animal of the Toda. The latter they are 
never allowed to keep ; the former they keep, bat do not, for superstitious 
reasons, milk." Compare note 76 on p. 190 where Eev. F. Kittel also 
decides against the explanation of Kota as cow.killer. 

The Rev. Dr. Pope peculiarly enough declares on page 261 of his 
Tuda Grammar in Lieut. -Colonel Marshall's Phrenologist amongst the Todas : 
" N.B. — No Tuda word for cow, plough, sword, or shield." Yet according 
to Rev. F. Metz's Vocabulary of the Toda Dialect in the Madras Journal of 
Literature and Science, vol. XVII (1857), p. 136, and to Mr. Breeks' Voca- 
bulary, on p. 113, the Toda equivalent for cow in danam. Rev. F. Metz, 
loco citato, gives nekhel as the Toda word for plough, and urthbini (pro- 
nounced uUhbini) for to plough. 

8^ See Breeks' Primitive Tribes o} the Nllagiris, p. 47. 

*' See Dr. Fr. Buchanan's Journey from Madras through Mysore, Ganara, 
and Malabar, Madras, 1870, vol. I, p. 477: "The deity peculiar to the 
caste (of the Panchalar) is Camachuma, or Kalima, who is, they say, the 
same with Parvati, the wife of Siva." Compare Breeks' Primitive Tribes, 
p. 44 : " The chief Kota festival, however, is the annual feast of Kamataraya, 
called Kambata or Kamata." Read also Grigg's Manual, p. 205 : " The 
Kotas had, it is said, formerly but one deity Kamataraya, but they also 
worship his wife (Kahasuma or KaUkai), each is represented by a silver plate. 
The god is also called Kambata and Kftmata." Kamata may be of Sanskrit 
origin. KamadSva is a name of Siva, and Kamakji one of Durga or Kali, 
"T*sSr»&3&» < /edmd(amu ' signifies in Telugu workman. 



On the Kuravas (Kuruvas, Kurumas), Koracaru, 
KuRus (Terakulas), Kaurs, Kunnxjvas. 

The above-mentioned names are representative terms of 
various kindred trites who live scattered in this country. 
While a considerable majority of their relatives in Northern 
India have embraced agricultural pursuits and form a pre- 
ponderant element of the rustic population, many of their 
cousins in Southern India still cling to their old mountain 
homes, or roam as migratory hordes over the country, or are 
leading a pastoral life as shepherds. 

For the sake of lucidity I shall consider these tribes under 
separate heads and begin with the wandering Kuravas. 

On the Kuravas (Kuruvas, Kitrumas), Koracaru, &c. 

These wandering tribes are known over the greater part 
of India as Kuravas (Koravas) or Kurumas. They are also 
known as Koracaru (Korcaru, Korsaru or Kuruciyar), which 
term may be either a variation of Korava, the v being 
changed into c, or, as has been suggested, may be explained 
as a mixed compound from kora mountain and the Sans- 
krit root car, to go, so that it means hill-walkers. In this 
case their name reminds one of their Dravidian brothers 
the Malacar (Malasar). Dr. Francis Buchanan by calling 
the Koragas of South-Kanara Koravas, identifies them with 
the latter. At another place, however, he names the Koravas 
also Koramas. 

In consequence of their roving life and the begging and 
cheating propensities which so many Kuravas exhibit, they 
are much disliked and shunned.'" They wander continually 

90 Compare Dr. Francis Buclianan's Journey from Madras through the 
Countries of Mysore, Caaara, and Malabar, second edition, vol. I, pp. 174, 
175: "The Goramas, or Coramaru, are a set of people considered by the 
Brahmans as an impure or mixed hreed. They make haskets and trade in 
erain and salt to a considerable extent ; but none of them can read or write, 



from one place to another, gaining a precarious livelihood 
by making and selling wicker baskets of bamboo and reed 
grass, or mats and other household utensils of bamboo. 
Some of them also know how to prepare metal wires of steel, 
copper, and iron. They are famous bird-catchers, clever 
snake-jugglers, and very experienced hunters. If nothing 
else offers, they pierce the ears of children to insert ornaments, 
or tattoo the limbs of persons who desire this embellishment 
of their body. Most of their women are fortune tellers, 
while the men profess often to be conjurors. 

They live, in general, in small camps of moveable huts, which are sometimes 
stationary near large towns ; but they are often in a state of daily motion, 
while the people lire following the mercantile concerns. The Ooramas con- 
sist of four families, Maydraffuta, Oavadiru, Maynapatru, and Satipatru. 
These are analogous to the Gotrams of the Brahmans ; for a man and woman 
of the same family never intermarry, being considered as too nearly allied 
by kindred. The men are allowed a plurality of wives, and purchase them 
from their parents. The agreement is made for a certain number oifanams, 
which are to be paid by instilments, as they can be procured by the young 
woman's industry ; for the women of this caste are very diligent in spinning 
and carrying on petty traffic. "When the bargain has been made, the bride- 
groom provides four sheep, and some country rum, and gives a feast to 
the caste, concluding the oeromony by wrapping a piece of new cloth round 
his bride. Should a man's wife prove unfaithful, he generally contents 
himself with giving her a beating, as she is too valuable to be parted with 
on slight grounds ; but, if he chooses, she may be divorced. In this case, he 
must assemble the caste to a feast, where he publicly declares his resolu- 
tion ; and the woman is then at liberty to marry any person that she chooses 
who is wiDing to take her. The Goramus do not follow nor employ the 
Brahmans ; nor have they any priests, or sacred order. When in distress 
they chiefly invoke Veneati/ Ramana, the Tripathi Vishnu, and vow small 
oflierings of money to his temple, should they escape. They frequently go 
into the woods and sacrifice fowls, pigs, goats, and sheep, to Muni, who is a 
male deity, and is said by the Brahmans to be a servant of Iswara ; but of 
this circumstance the Coramas profess ignorance. They, as usual, eat the 
sacrifice. They have no images, nor do they worship any. Once in two or 
three years the Coramas of a village make a collection among themselves 
and purchase a brass pot, in which they put five branches of the Melia azadi- 
rachta and a coco-nut. This is covered with flowers, and sprinkled with 
sandal-wood water. It is kept in a small temporary shed for three days 
during which time the people feast and drink, sacrificing lambs and fowls to 
Marima, the daughter of Siva. At the end of the three days they throw 
the pot into the water." 

Bead also Abbe J. A. Dubois' Description of the Charaeter, Manners and 
Cnatomsof the People of India, tliird edition, Madras, 1879, pp. 335-338 : "The 


They generally bury their dead in solitary and unknown 
places at night, and the traces of their dead disappear so com- 
pletely that the Natives have a common saying : " Nobody 
has seen a monkey's carcass or the corpse of a Kurava," and 
if anything is irretrievably lost the fact is intimated by the 
proverb : " It has gone to the burial place of the Kuravas 
and to the dancing room of the wandering actors." 

As a rule they do not acknowledge the priestly supre- 
macy of the Brahmans, nor do they worship Hindu divini- 
ties, unless Hinduized to a certain extent. However, many 

vagrants called Kuravers are divided into three branches. One of these is 
chiefly engaged in the traffic of salt, which they go, in bands, to the coasts 
to procure, and carry it to the interior of the country on the backs of asses, 
which they have in great droves. . . The trade of another branch of the 
Kuravers is the manufacture of osier panniers, wicker baskets, and other 
household utensils of that sort, or bamboo mats. This class, like the 
preceding, are compelled to traverse the whole countrj-, from place to place, 
in quest of employment. . . The third species of Kuravers is generally 
known under the name of KaUa-Bantru or robbers ; and indeed those who 
compose this caste are generally thieves or sharpers, by profession and right 
of birth. The distinction of expertness in filching belongs to this tribe. . . 
The KaUa-Bantru are so expert in this species of robbery (of cutting through 
the mud wall an opening sufficiently large to pass through), that, in less 
than half-an-hour, they will carry off a rich lading of plunder, without being 
heard or suspected till day-light discloses the vUlainy." 

See Rev. M. A. Sherring's Hindu Tribes and Castes, vol. Ill, p. 142 : 
" Koravar, a tribe of thieves and vagabonds wandering about the districts of 
the Carnatic. This tribe is common to several districts. Among the Tamils 
these people are called Koravars, but by the Telugus, Terakalas. In North 
Arcot they mortgage their unmarried daughters to pay their creditors when 
unable to pay their debts. In some districts they obtain their wives by 
purchase, giving a sum varying from thirty to seventy rupees. The clans 
into which they are divided do not intermarry. In Madura and South 
Arcot the Koravars are hawkers, petty traders, dealers in salt, jugglers, box- 
makers, breeders of pigs and donkeys ; and are a drunken and dissolute 
race." Compare J. H. Nelson's Manual of Madura, Part II, p. 69, about 
the Kuravans. 

Consult further Dr. Edward Balfour ' ' On the Migratory Tribes of Natives 
in Central India " in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. XIII, 
1844, pp. 9-12: " The Koratoa. This migratory people arrange themselves into 
four divisions, the Bajantri, Teling, KoUa, and Soli Korawas, speaking the 
same language, but none of them intermarrying or eating with each other. 
Whence they originally migrated it would be difficult perhaps now to come 
to a conclusion, nor could it be correctly ascertained how far they extend. 
The Bajantri, or Gaon ka Korawa, the musical or village Korawa, are met 


revere Venkatesvara of Tripati, or Siva and Kali in their 
cruder forms, the latter especially as Mariamma ; Grurunatha, 
a village god, whose presence is indicated by a rude stone 
situated under a tree, is also an object of their veneration, 
though some Kurumbas claim him as their special god. Their 
own elders generally fill the position of priests. 

They practise polygamy and are said to pawn their wives 
for debt. Their family disputes are decided by arbitrators, 
but they often nurse their quarrels to such an extent that an 
interminable law suit is called a Kurava's strife. 

They have different sub-divisions in various pai-ts of the 
country, either according to their various clans or the occu- 
pation they follow, and the latter soon becomes a tribal 
distinction. Dr. Francis Buchanan mentions a classification 

with in Bejapore, Bellary, Hyderabad and throughout Canara. . . Their 
food difiers from that of the Hindoo aa well as the Mahomedan ; they never 
eat the cow or bullock, but the jackal, porcupine, hog and wild boar, deer 
and tigers are sought after and used by them. They deny that robbery is 
ever made a regular mode of earning a subsistence ; an honesty, however, 
that the people among whom they dwell give them but little credit for. . 
They live by thieving, making grass screens and baskets. The men likewise 
attend at festivals, marriages, and births, as musicians, which has obtained 
for them the name of Bajantri. . . The women, too, earn a little money by 
tattooing on the skin the marks and figures of the gods, which the females 
of all castes of Hindus ornament their arms and foreheads with. . The 
age for marrying is not a fixed time ; and, different from every other people 
in India, the youth of the female is not thought of consequence. ... It is 
not unusual to have two, three, or four wives in one household, among this 
people. . . This people live virtuously ; the abandonment of their daughters is 
never made a trade of, and other classes speak favorably of their chastity. 
They respect Brahmins ; though they never . .seem to respect the gods of the 
Hindoo mythology. . . The Teling Korawa (generally known as Kusbi, 
Korawa, Agbare Pal Wale, prostitute Korawas) gain a livelihood by basket- 
making and selling brooms, in making which their wives assist ; but their 
chief means of subsistence is in the prostitution of their female relatives 
whom, for that purpose, they devote to the gods from their birth. . The 
goddess, in whose service the lives of the Teling Korawas' devoted women 
are thus to be spent, has her chief shrine near Bellary. They never devote 
more than one of their daughters ; the rest are married and made honest 
women of . This branch bury their dead, and the food that was most liked 
by the deceased is placed at the head of the grave. The most favorable 
Dmen of the state of the departed soul is drawn from its being eaten by 
a crow ; leas auspicious if by a cow ; but if both the crow and cow decline to 


based on the family system, while Abbe Dubois gives 
another derived from occupation, and Dr. Balfour prefers 
one of local origin. 

In the census report these people ai'e arranged under 
different heads, and their aggregate number amounts to 
nearly 175,000.9> 

On the Kurds (Ybrakulas) and Kaurs. 

Another tribe who are acknowledged as a separate 
class of the Kuravas are the Yerakulavdndlu or Yerakala- 
mru, who caU. themselves Kuru, Kuluintru or Kola, while 
the Tamil people designate them as Kuravar, whom they 
resemble in their manners and customs.^^ They live in 

eat it, they deem the dead to have lived a very deprayed life, and impose 
a heavy fine on hie relatives for having permitted such evil ways." 

About the name consult Glossary of Judicial and Revenue Terms, hy 
H. H. Wilson, p. 294 : " Koracharu, also Korckaru, Korvaru, or Korsaru, &c., 
corruptly Korchoor. The name of a trihe in the Karnatic, whose husiness 
is making bamboo mats and baskets, or who carry hetelnuts from market to 
market : they live in the hills and forests. 

" Koravarava, Koramaravanu, or Koravanu, or ahhrev. Koravar, Koramar. . . 
The name of a low tribe in Mysore, of which there are three branches — 
Kalla-koramar, who are professed thieves ; Wakiga-koramar, who are musi- 
cians ; and Sakki-koramar, who are a migratory race, and subsist by making 
baskets, catching birds, &c. : they are hill and forest tribes and have a 
dialect of their own : (the name may be only a local modification of Kola, 
or Cole, the hill tribes of Hindustan)." On p. 306 : " Kuruchchiyan, or 
Euruman, Mai. A class of people inhabiting the hiUs in Wynad." 

»i According to the Census Beportof 1881, there were registered in India 
7,875 Kurumarin. Madras, 1,071 Qorcha in the North- Western Provinces, 
24Hakikoraw in Hyderabad, 11,864 Korachar in Mysore, 110,473 Eoramr 
in Madras and Travancore, 597 Korehar in Bombay, 3,448 Eormiavasayar in 
Madras, 14,106 Korvi in Bombay, 1,001 Kuravandlu in Madras, 31,644 Eura 
in the Central Provinces, 14 Euravar in the Central Provinces, and 3,135 
Eunoai in Hyderabad, &c. 

92 Consult H. H. Wilson's Glossary, pp. 560, 561 : " Terkullemr, ( ? ) Tel. 
probably for Eruktmddu, pi. Erukmtartdlw, and the same as those corruptly 
termei Yerkelwanloo, Yera-kedi, Terakelloo ( Je»^sj^2i> ). The designation 
of a wild migratory tribe who subsist on game and all sorts of flesh ; 
they make and sell baskets and mats, and are considered as outcastes : both 
men and women pretend to be fortune-tellers and conjurors: they are 
also said to be called Eoorshe-wdnlu, Terkel-wanloo {wdnlu, or more correctly 
vdndlu, being only the plural of vddu), Yera-kedi, and Yerakelloo, but to be 
known amongst themselves as Eurru ; they are possibly the same who appear 


like manner under tents fixed by bamboo poles and covered 
with mats made of reed grass. They are also continually 
roaming about, avoiding villages and towns and preferring 
to pitch their tents in some open ground a few miles distant 
from inhabited places, only to strike them again after a 
few days' stay. They thus wander over Hyderabad, the 
Ceded Districts, and other adjacent provinces. Their tents 
of which every family possesses a separate one, with a few 

among tlie predial slavea in Kurg under the name ol Yerrwanroo, i.e., 
Erra-vdndlu, ? red men, or Tevaru q.v. or Yerlan, or Siehlen, (?) alao 
specified amongst, the serTile races of Kurg." 

Further see " The Migratory Eaces of India," by Assistant Surgeon 
Edward Balfour, Madras Army, in the Madran Journal of Literature and 
Science, vol. XVII (1857), pp. i-9 : " The Ooorroo. This seems to be a 
branch of the Korawa people, two divisions of whom . . were described by 
me in an article on the Migratory Tribes of India . . This wandering race 
occupy the Ceded Districts and are called by Mahomedans ' Koorshe 
Wanloo ;' Telings give them the names of ' Yerkel wanloo,' ' Yera keedi,' 
and ' Yera kelloo,' and the Aravas know them as Coortee ; bat their designa- 
tion among tliemselves is Ooorroo, the rr being pronounced by them with 
a loud thrilling sound. I believe them to be a branch of the Korawa 
people from the similarity of their customs, and from their using similar 
articles of diet, but the term korawa was quite new to this community, 
who, although familiar with the appellations of the Mahomedans and 
Hindoos, told me that Coorroo was the only name they ever designated 
themselves by . . They live in huts constructed of mats, very neatly woven 
froma long grass, named in Telagoo " zamboo," which grows in the beds of 
tanks, and which, they spread over a bamboo frame work. They are inces- 
santly on the move, wandering about the country, and they never reside 
inside of towns, but pitch their little camps on open plains three or four miles 
from some inhabited place. They rarely remain above two or three days in 
one spot and their journeys are of considerable length. The value of one of 
their huts would hardly amount to half a rupee (one shilling), asses, goats 
and pigs constitute their wealth ; the two last of these they use as food and 
sell for money in towns. They, likewise, earn a little by selling grass mats 
and baskets made of canes and bamboos, the handy-work of the men, but 
which are sold by the women . . . Each family in their communities lives 
apart in its own hut, constracted, as above-mentioned, by the mats woven 
by themselves. . The men informed me that they usually marry about the 
time that their mustaches appear (18 years of age ?) with women who have 
attained maturity, and a bride is never taken to her husband's but before two 
months after this period of her life. They marry one wife only, but they can 
keep as many of their women as they choose. The greatest number, however, 
that any of my informants remembered to have seen in one man's hut, was 
one wife and three kept women \ this latter class being in general widows. . . 


asses, goats, and pigs represent their property. They earn 
besides a precarious living by selling grass-mats and cane or 
bamboo-baskets, which are made by the men, but hawked 
about and sold by the women. In their wanderings they 
sometimes commit all sorts of robberies and often are trouble- 
some dacoits and highway robbers. 

Accounts vary about their marriage customs. Accord- 
ing to some, the tali or marriage string is bound round the 

The marriage ceremony consists in sprinkling rice and turmeric oyer the 
bride and bridegroom's head ; and after it is over the bride returns to her 
parents and remains with them for five days. . . The Coorroo attaches much 
importance to the purity of their unmarried females, bat they regard a want 
of integrity in their married women as a trivial matter .... They drink 
all sorts of intoxicating drinks, but never use opium or any of the pre- 
parations from hemp.. They never use the flesh of the horse, jackall, 
tiger, cheetah, or crow ; but they eat the hog, mouse, rat, wild rat, and 
fowls.. It is difficult to say what their religion is. They do not bind on the 
tali in marriage, or use any of the Hindu sectarian marks on their foreheads, 
neither do they revere the Brahmans or any religious superior, nor perform 
any religious ceremony at any Hindu or Budhist temple, but they told me 
that, when they pray, they construct a small pyramid of clay which they 
term Mariammah and worship it. But though they seem thus almost with- 
out a form of religion, the women had small gold and silver ornaments 
suspended from cords round their necks and which they said had been 
supplied to them by a goldsmith from whom they had ordered figures of 
Mariamma. The form represented is that of the goddess Kali, the wife of 
Siva. They mentioned that they had been told by their forefathers that, 
when a good man dies, his spirit enters the body of some of the better 
animals as that of a horse or cow, and that a bad man's spirit gives life to the 
form of a dog or Jackall ; but though they told me this they did not seem to 
believe it. They believe firmly, however, in the existence and constant 
presence of a principle of evil, who, they say, frequently appears. . . When 
they die the married people are burned, but the unmarried are buried quite 
naked without a shroud or kufn, or other clothing, a custom which some 
other castes in India likewise follow. . . The Coorroo people are naturally of 
a bamboo-color, though tanned by the sun into a darker hue. Their faces 
are oval with prominent bones, their features having something of the 
Tartar expression of countenance. . . The dialect spoken by the ' Coorroo ' 
as their lingua franca, in their intercourse with the people of the country, is 
the Teloogoo, and I was surprised to find them entirely ignorant of the 
Canarese language although living exclusively among the Canarese nation." 
Compare also Mr. H. E. Stokes' account of these people in the Manual of 
the Nellore District, compiled and edited by Mr. John A. 0. Boswell, M.c.s., 
pp. 154-157 : "These people (the Yerukalas) wander from place to place, 
as they find it easy to gain a living, pitching their huts generally in open 
places near villages. Their property, consists principally of cattle and asses. 


neck of the woman ; according to others this is not the case. 
This discrepancy may be explained by some having adopted the 
usual Hindu customs, while others still keep aloof from them. 
With respect to their religious worship the same observation 
may hold good. There is no doubt that originally they did 
not worship any Hindu deities, nor did they in consequence 
perform any religious ceremonies at any Hindu shrine, nor 
revere the Brahmans as their religious superiors. In fact the 

and they act as carriers of salt and grain ; the}' cut firewood in the jungles 
and sell it in the villages ; they also gather and sell a leaf called karepaku 
(the black margosa) ; they eat game, flesh of all sorts, and jungle roots. 
They all, hoth women and men, pretend to tell fortunes ; these people, 
like all the wandering tribes of the district, are basket-makers. . . They 
are stout men and very hardy in constitution. Like the Yanadies they tie 
their hair in a knot over the forehead. Lieutenant Bulmer, in his letter 
to the Collector, dated 22nd May 1865, No. 317, writes the following as to 
the Yerukalas : ' The crimes they are addicted to are dacoity, highway 
robbery, and robbery ; they are the most troublesome of our wanderers.' . . 
The gods whom they chiefly worship are Mahalakshmi and Venkatesvara (to 
whom the Trippati temple is sacred), and they also sacrifice to the pitris, or 
manes of their ancestors. They state generally that all gods worshipped by 
Hindus are worshipped by them. The old men of the tribe are priests. 
Each tribe or family has a god, which is carried about with the encampment. 
One, which I have seen, was a piece of wicker-work, about five inch square, 
cased in black canvas, one side being covered with white sea-shells imbedded 
in a red paste. It was called Polaperamma. Polygamy is practised among 
the Yerukalas, and the number of wives is only limited by the means of the 
husband. There is no polyandria, nor is there any trace of the custom, 
which sometimes is found among rude tribes, of the brothers of a family 
haviniJ; their wives in common. The marriage string is always tied round 
the neck of the wife. The females are said not to marry till they are full 
grown. The ceremony usually takes place on a Sunday, puja having been 
made on the Saturday. Rice mixed with turmeric is poured on the heads 
of the married couple ; the marriage string is tied on, and the ceremony 
is complete. During the lifetime of her husband a wife may not marry 
another man, but after his death she may if she wishes. . . A man supports 
all his children by all his wives. H he has a great number, the brothers 
will take some of them ; but when they are grown up they return to their 
father's family. Sons so reared will, through gratitude, support their uncles 
in old age. . . I have collected a number of words and phrases of the 
Yerukalas among themselves — a language which is unintelligible to the 
Telugu people. The most cursory glance at these is sufiSoient to produce 
the conviction that it is a Tamil dialect. It has been considerably mixed, 
as is to be expected, with Telugu and Canarese, but in its structure it is 
plainly Tamil. The Yerukalas understand Tamil when spoken, and it is 
superfluous to state analogies between their dialect and Tamil, inasmuch as 


old men of the tribe are to this day their priests. They 
mainly worship Mariamma or Poleramma, an image of 
whom generally accompanies each tribe in its wanderings. 
The god Venkatesvara of Tripati is also held in respect by a 
great many. They generally keep a lamp burning night 
and day in their encampments before which they offer up 

the former is nothing but a patois of the latter, in which Telugu and 
Canarese words are freely used. There can be no doubt as to the fact that 
the Terukalas are a Tamil tribe, but there are some points connected with 
the name and language which seem to throw farther light on the question. 
The name has two forms in Telugu, one TerukuTandlu, said by Brown and 
Campbell to be derived from ' Erugu ' to know, and to have reference to their 
fortune-telling powers, and one Yerukulavandlu ; the first of this word is 
evidently not a plural of ' Yeruku,' but a distinct word. This seems to be 
recognized by Brown and Wilson, who conjecture that ' Yeru' is a prefix to 
be connected by the word ' erra' red. . . The Yerukulas in this district 
state that their tribe name in their own language is ' Kurru,' also. Kola ; 
and I think there can be no doubt that the ' Yer ' or ' Yeru ' is a mere prefii 
and that ' Kala,' Wilson's ' KuUevar ' represents the real name of the tribe. 
To connect ' Yer ' or 'Yeru' with the Telugu 'erra,' red, seems quite 
meaningless ; it might perhaps be compared with ' Yervaru ' mentioned by 
Wilson, or which seems more plausible to suppose it to be the word ' Yeruku ' 
(which, as has been said, is one designation of the tribe in Telugu, com- 
pounded with the real tribe name ' Kurruvandlu,' or Kolavandlu, when, 
according to a common euphonic law in Telugu, the two ' k's ' would coalesce 
and the word becomes Yerukkalavandlu. The second ' k ' would easily bs 
dropped, and the word assume its common form Yerukalavandlu. I have 
been unable to find that there are any traditions among these people as to 
the country from which they came ; one of them indignantly repudiated the 
notion of a Tamil origin. The language, however, and the tribe name 
' Kurru ' seems to me unmistakeably to point to the identity of this tribe 
with the well-known Kuravar or Koravar of the Tamil districts." 

The Historical and Descriptive Sketch of 3.. B. the Mzam's Dominions 
contains in vol. I, pp. 326-28, an account of the Yerakulavandlu : " The 
YarJcalwars are a nomad tribe living in huts made of palmyra leaves or reeds. 
They are found in some of the eastern districts of the Dominions. T"hey 
live on the flesh of swine, game and carrion, and a little grain they may get 
in barter for the mats and baskets they construct. They snare birds with 
bird-lime, and they have a small breed of dogs with which they kill hares. 
They kill most of the dogs when young, but retain the bitches, to which, 
when they are intended for hunting, they give a certain root that renders 
them barren . . Brahmans will not approach the Yarkalwars but the Jangam 
of the Lingayets is more pliant, and on the occasion of a death, for a present 
of some grain, he attends and blows his conch. Their marriage ceremonies 
consist in a headman whom they elect for the occasion, and place on a 



The explanation of their hy-name Yerukulavdndlu ( Yeru- 
kalavandlu, Yerakalavandlu or Yerikalavandlu) offers some 
difficulties. Scholars like 0. P. Brown and H. H. Wilson 
are inclined to take yeru in the meaning of erra, red ; but 
there does not seem sufficient ground for this derivation. It is 
true, and I have elsewhere alluded to the fact, that Scythian 
tribes use occasionally terms signifying color, in order to 
represent political positions ; black, e.g., indicating, tinder 
these circumstances, dependence and servitude, and white 
liberty and sovereignty. I have not observed^ however, this 

throne of turf, putting rice on tlie heads of the young people, and uttering 
some mystic words ; a pig is then killed, the flesh is cooked and eaten, and 
ample as their experience must be of the qualities of every kind of flesh, 
they are unanimous in declaring that pork is superior to all. They then 
jump about, beat their bellmetal vessels, and the whole concludes by the 
whole party, male and female, getting drunk. One of their customs is very 
peculiar. On the occasion of a birth the husband is looked on as the subject 
of compassion, and is carefully tended by the neighbours, as if he and not 
the wife had been the sufferer. Like all vagabonds they are regarded with 
suspicion, and with some reason, as they affect to possess a divining rod in 
the shape of the frond of the wild date, by which they may discover on the 
outside of the house where property is placed within . . . Although despised 
as a carrion-eating caste, the ryots do not hesitate in cases of sickness to 
consult them. Then the divining rod is produced, a Yarkalwar woman 
holding one end while the other is given to the person seeking advice, a long 
string of words is rattled over, the result of the disease foretold, and the 
particular shrine is indicated where an offering is to be placed, or the 
offended Sakti named, whose wrath is to be appeased by sacrifice . . . They 
speak a corrupt Tamil." 

Compare also a " Brief Sketch of the Yerukala Language as spoken in 
Eajahmandry " in the Madras ./otnmi/ of Ziteratiire and Science, 1879, pp. 
93-102. Messrs. A. G. Subrahmanyam I)-er, k.a., and P. Srinivasa Rao 
Pantulu, B.A., asked, imder the direction of Rev. Mr. J. Cain, a Yeruka a 
series of questions and drew up the paper. Mr. Cain published afterwards 
a similar but shorter paper in the Indian Antiqmi-i/, vol. IX (1880), pp. 
210-212. The brief sketch contains, among others, the following statements: 
" The Yerukulas do not seem to have any distinctive tribal or national name. 
In conversation with each other they call themselves ' Kuluvaru, evidently 
from the Sanskrit ' kula,' merely signifjing ' our people ' while to strangers 
they speak of themselves as Yerukala varu, a name most probably given them 
by their Telugu neighbours (Telugu J air) in allusion to their supposed 
skiU in palmistry, which they practise as a means of livelihood. The 
Yerukula in question was not able to say when his people settled in Rajah- 
mandry. He only knew that a long time ago they came from the west. . . 
Their customs arc generally of a very simple character- They burn their 


custom among the Gauda-Dra vidian tribes of India, though 
the term erra, red, is occasionally used in names, e.g., in that 
of the Erra Gollalu.^^ 

There is also no reason for connecting the two iaitial 
syllables Tera of Yemltalavdndlu with the Yeravas of Kurg. 
These are a distinct tribe and do not belong to the Kuravas, 
of whom the Kurus or Yerukulavandlu are a branch. The 
name Terava is in reality only another form of Parava.^^ 

A similar remark must be made as to the propriety of 
derivLag the name of the Kurus from the Telugu words 

dead with, little ceremony. . . There appears to be little doubt that the 
language belongs to the Dravidian family. The following collection of 
words and phrases seems to show conclusively that of these languages it 
bears the closest affinity to Tamil although possessing words, allied to 
Telugu and Canarese. ' ' 

'^ See my monograph Der Presbyter Johannes in Sage and Geschiehte, p. 121, 
note 1 ; " Die mougolischen Volkersohafteu pflegen namlioh, wie bekannt, 
dem eigeuthijmlichen Stammesnam.en eine Farbe, wie schwarz, weiss, etc., 
voranzusetzen.undhierdurch die politische Lage der Horde, ob sie unabhan- 
gig oder abhangig aei, anzudeuten." 

'* See " Ethnographical Compendium on the Castes and Tribes in the 
Province of Coorg," by the Rev. Gr. Richter, pp. 9, it) : " Of the hiU-tribes 
the Yeravas stand lowest and seem to have been in remote ages in a servile 
relation to the Betta Kurumbas . . They are immigrants from Wynad, 
where the same class of Yeravas is said to be found. Their language is 
related to that of the Betta Kurumbas and understood by the Coorgs. . . The 
Yeravas bury their dead with their clothes on lying flat the head eastward ; 
but according to the statement of an intelligent Yerava maistry, who was 
also the headman of his gang, the women are buried in a sitting posture in 
a hole scooped out sideways from what would have been an ordinary grave, 
so that the earth over head does not touch her." 

Read also Mysore and Coorg, hj Lewis Rice, in vol. I, p. 3.51 : " Yerava. 
These are only found in Mysore District, in the taluks forming the southern 
frontier ; they are said to have originally belonged to "Wainad, where they 
were held in slavery by the Nairs. They resemble the African in features 
having thick lips and compressed noses. They speak a language of their, 
own." In vol. II, p. 94 : " Yerra Ganga and Challava Grauga, two men 
of the Yerralu tribe," to this the note is added : " A wandering tribe identi- 
cal with or closely related to the Korachars. They are known in Coorg as 
Yeravas." And in vol. Ill, on pp. 214, 215 : " Yeravas, also known as 
Panjara Yeravas, 5,608 males, and 4,908 females. . . From the description 
given of the Yeravas, it is probable they would have been more correctly 
classed with Holeyas among the outcastes. They are said to be originally 
from Wainad, where, like the Holeyas in Coorg, they were held in slavery by 
the Nairs. They are met with almost entirely in Kiggatnad and Yeden^lkad 


erike, eruka or eruku. The Telugu terms erihe or eruka 
knowledge, in the sense of astrology or of palmistry, and 
eruku, hunter, do not offer an explanation of the tribal name 
Kuru. It ia highly probable that the name and the occu- 
pation of the fortune-telling Kuruvandlu or Kulavandlu 
induced the Telugu people to call this tribe Terukulavandlu, 
Yerakalavandlu or Yerikelavandlu, including in these terms 
both their tribal name and their profession, and that this 
nickname, once substituted for the real tribal surname, 
supplanted the latter in course of time. I prefer this expla- 
nation to the conjecture suggested by Mr. H. E. Stokes in 
his interesting account of these people. Taking Eruku as 
a Telugu designation of this race, he adds to it their tribal 
name by dropping the last vowel of the first part of the 
compound, so that the word becomes Yerukkalmandlu. 
Peculiarily enough the term JErukukula occurs in reaHty as 
quoted in the note below, but apparently in the meaning 
of hunter. No race takes, as a rule, its name from a foreign 
language, and Telugu is a strange dialect to the Kurus, 
whose real idiom is rather akin to Tamil. In this language 
the expression Yerukalavas is ignored, and this tribe is 
called simply by the term Koravar.^* 

taluks. They speak a language of their own, a dialect of Malayalam, and 
live with the Coorgs, hut always in separate huts in or near jungle. They 
are much sought after as labourers." 

It is evident from the above that Mr. Rice's statements contradict 
each other. If Terra Ganga and Challava Qanga were Kuruvandlu or 
Terukulavandlu, they could, according to my opinion, not have been 
Yeravar. — Moreover Mr. Rice calls them " men of the Yerralu tribe," and 
the Yeravar are not, as I believe, known as Yerralu. Mr. Rice was induced 
tothis identification by Mr. Stokes' remarks, to which he refers. In this 
case it appears very doubtful whether yerra in Terra Ganga is a tribal distinc- 
tion at all, it seems rather to be a personal proper name. 

" See the Telugu and English Dictionary by Charles Philip Brown, p. 126 : 
"J6"^ or J ^> 6^ knowledge, acquaintance, fortune-telling. JdTejft or 
J8"^e;;i'S a female gypsey, a witch. JaTe):r>;Sb a fortune-teller: JoTe- 
3r>oJfc gypsies. See J&S'ej. JiXj*' mountaineer, a savage. J&S'TsSjji) 
to tell fortunes. ^Hii adj. Belonging to gypsies, oi to hillpeople. J&>ei- 


It is hardly necessary after this to contradict two 
other statements, namely that the term Kulavaru is derived 
from the Sanskrit word kula and that the original trihal 
name of this race was Kala. The falseness of the first is 
ohvious, while the real trihal designation, as has been proved, 
is Kulu, Kola, or Kuru. Ko (ku), mountain, is, indeed, the 
root to which the name of the Kuruvas, Koravas, Koramas, 
Kuruvandlu or Kolavan41u must be traced. According to 
the last census 48,882 Terukulavandlu live in the Madras 
Presidency, 9,892 in Hyderabad, and 30 in the Central 
Provinces, or altogether 58,804 in India. 

These Kurus must not be confounded with the Kolarian 
Kurs, who live on the Mahadeva hills and in the forests 
watered by the Tapti and Narbada. The Kurs are better 
known as Muasis.'^ 

On the other hand, it is by no means improbable that the 
Kaurs of the Central Provinces stand in some relationship 
to the Kuxavas, as they appear to belong to the Gonds. 

'^& a. highland chief. J^iSoajr-Jfe a gypsey, J&S'ejS a gypsey wench. 
This tribe of fortune-tellers speak a peculiar jargon or cant : and when they 
pitch their camps near towns, they herd swine. ^Siivir>T> a woman of 
this trihe : a witch." Compare also Sabda Satndkaram, a dictionary of the 
Telugu Language, compiled by B. Sltfirftmacftryulu, Madras, 1885, pp. 160- 
151. " J rajs' . ■^. S. 1. "383. . .5 ^^^io . . . JrajS. 'rf. S. 1. 
|-cr°SoiSi 2. sr^.SicJSi. <S. ,JeM5JSJoo-a3iSo& iBSc»5ofic!io $&j$ele)S2mj7i', 

86 See the Rev. Stephen Hislop's Papers relating to the Aboriginal Tribes of 
the Central Provinces, pp. 25-27: "We come now to a race in language at least 
quite distinct from any that have engaged our attention — a race in that 
respect not alHed to the Dravidian stock, but to the family which numbers 
among its members the KSl nation. With the name of this last-mentioned 
nation, the word Eur, or Kul, as it ought properly to be pronoimced, is 
evidently identical. . . Xhe Kurs were found on the Mahadeva Hills, and 
westward in the forests on the Tapti and Narbadda, vmtil they came into 
contact with the Bhils. On the Mahadeva HUls, where they have been 
much influenced by the Hindus, they prefer the name of Muasi, the origin of 
which I have not been able to ascertain. ' ' Compare also Rev. M. A. Sherring's 
Hindu Tribes and Caste, vol. II, p. 126, and Colonel Dalton'a Ethnology of 
India, pp. 161, 221, 230. 


They resemble in their customs the aboriginal tribes of the 
jungles, revere Gond deities, and avoid all intercourse with 
Brahmans. With the Kurumbas they have in common the 
peculiar habit that all males are clean-shaved when a death 
takes place among their connections. Their features have a 
thorough Turanian aspect, their color is darkish, their noses 
are broad, and their lips rather thick. They assert, and their 
neighbours all round support them in their claim, that they 
are the survivors of the Kauravas who, after the battle of 
Kuruksetra, fled to the south and took refuge in the hill 
tracts of Central India.^' 

On the Kunnuvas and Kunavaeis. 

Dr. Shortt mentions, on p. 85 in the fifth part of his 
" Hill Ranges of Southern India," the " Manadies, Coonoovars 

'' Read Colonel Dalton's Ethnology of India, pp. 136-138 : " In a paper 
entitled ' Notes of a Tour in the Tributary Mahals, ' publiahed in the Journal, 
Asiatic Society, Bengal, I introduced them as a dark, coarse-featured, hroad- 
nosed, wide-mouthed, and thick-lipped race, and it was natural to conclude 
from this that they were one of the aboriginal tribes. . .They are decidedly 
ugly, but are taller and better set up than most of the people described in this 
chapter. The Kaura form a considerable proportion of the population of 
Jashpur, Udaipur, Sirguja, Korea, Chand Bhakar, andKorba of Chattisgarh, 
and though they are much scattered, and the various divisions of the tribe 
hold little communication with each other, they all tenaciously cling to one 
tradition of their origin, that they are the descendants of the survivors of 
the sons of Kuru, called Kauravas in Purans, who, when defeated by the 
Pandavas at the great battle of Kurukshetrya, and driven from Hastinapur, 
took refuge in the hill country of Central India. They not only relate this 
of themselves, but it is firmly believed by the people of all castes of Hindus, 
their neighbours, who, notwithstanding their dark complexions and general 
resemblance to the offspring of Nishada and some anti-Hindu practices, do not 
scruple to regard them as brethren. . . I was informed that the Kaurs were 
divided into four tribes — (1) the DUdh Kaurs, (2) Paikera, (3) Rettiah Kaurs. 
The Kaurs of Udaipur described by me in the paper above quoted belong to 
this class. They rear and eat fowls, and have no veneration for Brahmans. 
The village barber is their priest, and officiates as such at marriages and 
other ceremonies. At births, marriages and deaths, the males affected by 
the casualty and all connected with them of the same sex are clean-shaven 
all round. Some villages maintain, besides, a Byga priest, or exorcist for 
the Dryads, Naiada, and witches. The Paikera Kaurs therefore, who are, I 
think, the most numerous, cannot be regarded as Hindu in faith . . (4) the 
Clierwa Kaurs . . . The Dudh Kaura alone preserve the true blood of the 
Kuru race . . . They have none of them in the tracts mentioned, attained 


(Mountaineers), or Koravnrs " among the tribes of the Palani 
Mountains. He contends that " the Manadies or Coonoovars 
were the chief landed proprietors, possessing large herds of 
cattle, and, when compared with the other tribes, seem to 
be in easy circumstances." According to Mr. Nelson (Part 
II, p. 34) : " The Kunntwans, or as they are also called 
" Kunnuva Vellalans, perhaps from the word Kunru a 
" hillock, are supposed to be a caste of lowland cultivators who 
" came up from the Coimbatore plains some three or four 
" centuries ago and settled upon the Palani mountains as 
" has been shown." Whether the Kunnuvas were originally 
Dravidian Vellalas who adopted the surname Kunnuva 
as a distinguishing clan-title, or whether the name Vel- 

to the dignity of landlord either as zamlndar, or jaglrdar. I am told, how- 
ever, that the Zamlndar of Korha in Chattisgarh is a Kaur. All this makes 
me inclined to separate them from the aboriginal tribes of Central India, and 
to think that there is some foundation for their tradition ; bat, as I cannot 
efface their Turanian traits, and from all I have seen of them must regard 
those traits as the predominating and original characteristics of the tribe 
I find myself in the dilemma of having to come forward as the propounder of 
a new theory, and, in opposition to the Mahabharat, to suggest that the war 
of the Pandavas and Kauravas was not a family quarrel but struggle for 
supremacy between an Aryanand Turanian nation!" Compare also the 
Eev. M. A. Sherring's Hindu Tribes and Castes, vol. II, p. 155': "The Kaura 
are usually regarded as aborigines, although claiming to have.been originally 
connected with the Tuar tribe of Rajpoots in the North- Western Provinces.. 
Nevertheless, their customs are not like those of Rajpoots, but like the 
aboriginal tribes of jungles. They worship Doolar Deo and Boorha Deo, 
Gond deities, and, as a class, avoid intercourse with Brahmans. Their mar- 
riage ceremonies are performed in the presence of the elders of the village, 
and they bury their dead. The Kaurs are good and industrious cultivators." 
The Kaurs are also mentioned in Mr. N. Ball's Jungle Life in India, 
pp. 296, 300, 322. 

Compare with the above Justice Campbell's JEthnohgy of India, p. 40 : "In 
this region of India, it only remains to mention one more Aboriginal tribe, 
called Kaurs, found in the extreme west of the Chota-Nagpore Agency about 
Korea, Oodeypore, and the adj oining parts of the territory of Nagpore proper, 
the Pergunnah of Korbah of Chatteesgurh. They are described as a very in- 
dustrious, thriving people, considerably advanced in civilisation. They now 
affect Hindu traditions, pretend to be descended from the defeated remnants 
of the Kooroos who fought the Pandavas, worship Siva and speak Hindee, 
but in appearance they are ultra-aboriginal, very black, with broad noses, and 
thick lips, and eat fowls, &c., bury most of their dead, and contemn Bramins ; 
so that their Hindooismia scarcely skin-deep." 


lala was given them as landed proprietors, because the 
land-owners of the plains were so called, it is impossible 
to decide now. It is, however, an interesting coincidence 
that the Kunnuvas who inhabit the Palani hiUs are called 
and call themselves Mannddi. This compound is formed of 
coejr, man, a contraction of malai, mountain, and nddu, coun- 
try. Manmdu signifies thus mountain-country, and mannddi, 
mountaineer, as Malaiydhm denotes the country, and Malai' 
yali, the inhabitant of Malabar.'* 

Besides malai another word man occurs in the sense 
of mountain. Man in Tamil signifies not only earth, but 
also mountain.^' In the former sense it is identical with 
the Telugu mannu, and in the latter with mannemu or 
manyamu. Mannedora and manyadu denote a highland chief- 
tain, and manyadu is a title of some Velama Rajas, while the 
hill-people are called Mamievdru. If the Mons of Pegu are 
called by the Burmese Talaings, who according to Sir Alex- 
ander Cunningham " must have emigrated from Telin- 
gana," the conjecture of connecting this term Mon with the 
Telugu Mannemu and the Tamil Man appears permissible. 

Considering that Mankulattdr, Gangakulattdr and Indra- 
kulattdr are the three principal divisions of the Vellalas, it 
seems now doubtful whether the term man in Mankulattdr 
should be explained as meaning earth or mountain.""' 

98 See Dr. John Shortt's Hill Ranges, Part V, pp. 85-89. On p. 85 we 
read : ' ' When a Manady marries, the whole tribe is represented on the 
occasion and to avoid unnecessary expense, marriages are generally put off 
untU two, three or more can be celebrated at once . . . (On p. 86) The young 
man advances and ties the marriage string with the Thalee or symbol around 
the bride's neck ; to complete the ceremony, a Foliar is called upon to an- 
nounce a blessing on the new married couple." Read also ibidem, Part VI, 
pp. 42-46; on pp. 42-43: "The inhabitants of these High Ranges are 
Mndavars and . . the mixed population of the villages in Unjenaad known 
as Kunuvers, Munnadies, and others may be considered inhabitants." Compare 
Mr. J. H. Nelson's Manual of the Madura Country, Part II, pp. 33-36. 

'' See Dr. WinsloVs Tamil and English Dictionary, p. 841 : uj sm s. 
The earth ... 3. HUl, mountain. 

""' See p. 34, n. 29, on the term Mannepmdndlu, highlanders, being 
used to designate the Telugu Pariahs or Mdlalu, and p. 106, n. 100, on 
the terms Vetlila and Velama. The Muhammedau rulers in India conferred 


These remarks have been made with a view to introduce 
here the inhabitants of the Kunawar district, which is 
situated in the Himalayan mountain range. The people of 
this country are generally known as Kunets or Kanets, but 
call themselves Mon. Sir Alexander Cunningham remarks : 
" With respect to the name of Mon, which is given to the 
*' Kunets or Khasas by the Tibetans, it does not appear to be 
" a Tibetan word, as it is used by the Kunets themselves to 
"designate the ancient possessors of the hills, whom they 
" acknowledge to have been their own ancestors." On very 
slight, and, as I think, on very suspicious linguistic evidence 
does Greneral Sir Alexander Cunningham connect the Mons 
of Kunawar with the Kolarian Mundas, and thus with the 
Kolarian population of India. I, on the other hand, regard 
these Kunawari Mons together with the Kulindas as a branch 
of the Gaudian tribe of the Grauda-Dravidian race, and even 
Sir Alexander Cunningham cannot deny the possibility of 
" a Grondish affinity for the Kunets." I have a very high 
respect for the earnest, indefatigable, and ingenious researches 
of the late chief of the Archseological Survey of India, but 
no single individual, however gifted, can write so much 
without occasionally committing errors, and if I disagree at 
times with General Sir Alexander Cunningham's statements 
and conclusions, I must acknowledge at the same time the 
great obligations I owe to bim in common with all who 
consult his excellent writings. '"' 

occasionally the title Manya Sultan on Velama chiefs and other princes. 
Manya in this sense stands for Manyadora, and has nothing in common with 
the Sanskrit word Manya from man, to consider. 

'"' See Sir Alexander Cvmningham's Archaeological Survey of India, 
vol. XIV, pp. 125-135 ; more especially p. 127 : " All the ancient remains 
within the present area of Kunet occupation are assigned to a people who are 
variously called Mowas, or Mons, or Motans, and all agree that they were 
the Kunets themselves . At Dwara Hath there are numbers of monuments 
like tombs built of large flat tUes, which the people attribute to the Maowis or 
Monas. These I take to be the monuments of the ancient Kimindas or Kunets 
before they were driven from Dwara Hath to Joshimath . (P. 1281. In 
Dhami and Bhagal and in all the districts along the Satlej there are numerous 



If the Kunets or Kunawaris are, as I believe, of Q-audian 
origin, the circumstance of their being called Mon, moun- 
taineer, gains in importance ; for this name can then be 
derived from a Grauda-Dravidian word. I feel inclined to 
derive the name of the inhabitants of Kunawar, i.e., of 
the ancient Kulindas and the modern Kunets, from the root 
ku, mountain. The etymology of the Madura term Eun- 
/I una- from Kunnu, mountain, is evident, and is confirmed 
by the meanings of the other two names of this tribe, i.e., 
Koravar and Mannadikal. Yet, it is doubtful, whether 
Kuiiiiava is an original name or was afterwards adopted. 

One of the peculiar features of the social habits of the 
Kunets is their strict adherence to the old Gauda-Dravidian 
custom of polyandry. Polyandry, it is true, does not ac- 
tually prevail among the Southern Kunnavas, but a woman 
can take in succession as many husbands as she likes, though 
she is allowed only one at a time. 

remains of old stone buildings, many of them foundations of squared stones, 
all of which are attributed to the Maowis or Mons, the former rulers of the 
country I think it therefore very probable that the Mons of the Cis- 

Himalaya may he connected with the Mundas of Eastern India, who are 
certainly the Jlloiiedes of PUny, as well as with the Mons of Pegu. As these 
last are called Talaings by the Burmese, it would seem that they must have 
emigrated from Telingana, I would also suggest that the true name of 
Mongir was most probably Monagiri, and that the country of the Mundas or 
Monedcs once extended northward as far as the Ganges at Mongir." See Csoma 
de Korosi, Geographical Notice of Tibet in Bengal Asiatic Society's Journal^ 
vol. I, p. 122 : " The hill people of India who dwell next to the Tibetans are 
called by them by the general name of Mon, their country 2Ion Yiil, a man Mon- 
pa or simply Mon, and a woman Mon-ino) . (Pp. 131-132.) The language of 
the Kunets, like that of the Khas, just described by Mr. Hodgson, is a corrupt 
dialect of Hindi, but it still retains several traces of a non-Aryan language. 
Thus the word ti, for water of stream, is found all over the Kunet area. The 
word is not Tibetan, but occurs in the Milohang dialect of Lower Kunawar. 
It is clearly connected with the di and ti of the E. Koch and Moch tribes, and 
with the da of the aboriginal Kolish dialects of Eastern and Central India, the 
Munda, Santhal, Ho, KurJ and Saur or Savara. Thus within the Kunet 
area are the following large streams. (1) Rawa-ti, or Eavi River. (2) Nyung- 
ti, or Bias River . (P. 133). Several of the gTeat rivers of Northern India 
hate the Kolish affix da, as Pad-da, Narma-da, Bahu-da, etc. . . Da-Muda, 
Da-San, Altogether I think the evidence of language, so far as it 

goes, points decidedly to a Kolish rather than to a Gondish affinity for the 


No doubt these two tribes of the North and the South 
resemble each other strangely in their names and in their 
customs, but I am far from trying to force on them for these 
reasons any closer relationship than that which has from the 
first existed between them, namely that both of them formed 
part of the large Gauda-Dravidian race. Both are here 
mentioned together, as they afford an interesting example of 
similar sounding and nearly identical names being borne by 
two distinct, distant, and yet originally kindred tribes.'"^ 


On the Kueubas on Kueumbas. 
Remarhs about the name Kurumba. 
The Kurubas or Kurumbas who form the subject of 
this enquiry represent the most important of all those tribes 
that have been already mentioned in this chapter, owing to 
the influential part they have played in the History of India, 
and the position they still occupy among the people of this 
country. However separated from each other and scattered 

Kuneta and other mixed races of North- West India." The linguistic 
evidence so far as the Kunets are concerned is very weak, in fact nihil. 
Nothing proves that the ti of Bdvati, the Sanskrit Airavati denotes river; 
and that a word like da, water, shoidd in one and the same language be used 
in the same connection both at the beginning and the end of compounds 
as in Bihu-da, Narma-dd, Ba-Muda, and Da-San, is against linguistic rules. 
About the Kolarian terms for water, da, doi, di, dat, ti and tui compare 
Hislop's Papers, p. 27- 

112 Read Mr. J. H. Nelson's Manual of Madura. Part II, pp. 34-35 : "In 
this way a woman may legally marry any number of men in succession, 
though she may not have two husbands at one and the same time. She may 
however bestow favors on paramours without hindrance, provided they be of 
equal caste with her. On the other hand a man may indulge in polygamy to 
any extent he pleases, and the wealthier Kunnuvans keep several wives as 
servants particularly for agricultural purposes. Among the Western Kim- 
nuvans a very curious custom is said to prevail. When an estate is likely to 
descend to a female on default of male issue, she is forbidden to marry an 
adult but goes through the ceremony of marriage with some young mala 
child or in some cases with a portion of her father's dwelling-house, on the 
understanding that she shall be at liberty to amuse herself with any man of 


among the Dravidian clans witli whom they have dwelt, and 
however distant from one another they still live, there is 
hardly a province in the whole of Bharatavarsa which cannot 
produce, if not some living remnants of this race, at least 
Bome remains of past times which prove their presence. 

Indeed, the Kurumbas must he regarded as very old in- 
habitants of this land, who can contest with their Dravidian 
kinsmen the priority of occupation of the Indian soil. 
The two rival tribes have in reality become so intermixed 
with each other, that according to the temporary superiority 
of the one or the other, the same district is at different times 
known as Vala(va)nadu and Kujumbana4u, while in some 
instances, when both tribes live more apart from each other, 
we find a Vallavanadu bordering on a Kujumbana4u. 

In some parts of this country the Kurumbas are even 
now considered as the oldest existing remnant of the earliest 
stratum of the population. Some tracts and places of the 
Indian realm stiU bear their name, while some localities had 
their names changed after the collapse of the Kurumba 
supremacy. The well-known Tondamandalam, of which 
Kancipuram was once the capital, is said to have been pre- 
viously called Kurumbabhumi or Kurambanadu. Kurum- 
baranadu forms still an integral portion of Malabar, and the 
forest-clad mountainous district of the Nilagiri has preserved 
in many localities the ancient name of the Kurumbas. It 
may not be inappropriate to mention here that Valanadu 

her caste, to whom she may take a fancy : and her issue, so hegotten, inherits 
the property, which is thus retained in the woman's family. Numerous 
disputes originate in this singular custom ; and Madura CoUectors have some- 
times heen puzzled not a little hy eiddence adduced to show that a child of 
three or four years was the son or daughter of a child of ten or twelve. The 
religion of the Kunnuvans appear to be the Saiva, but they worship their 
mountain god Valapan with far more devotedness than any other." 

Compare also Sir W. W. Hunter's Imperial Gazetteer of India, vol. V, pp. 
482-483 : " In physique, the Kunawaris are taU, athletic, weU-made, and 
dark-skinned ; while their character stands high for hospitality, truthfulness 
and honesty . . Polyandry everywhere eadsts in its fullest form," 


is now kno-wn as the name of a district round Kanoipuram, 
and that Valluvanad.u is bordering on Ku5umbarana4Ti.-''^ 

Before entering further on the discussion concerning the 
ethnology and history of the Kujumbas, I feel it incumbent 
on me to make a few linguistic remarks, which apply to the 
whole chapter. I have already derived their name from 
kuru, an enlarged form of ko (ku), mountain. A Kuruba 
or Kurumba signifies thus a mountaineer. 

The terms Kujuba and Kurumba are originally identical, 
though the one form is in different places employed for the 
other, and has thus occasionally assumed a special local 
meaning. I have previously proved that even the wandering 
Koravas are direct offshoots from the same stem, in spite 
of their being now distinguished from the bulk of the 
Kurubas or Kurumbas by occupation and caste. Mr. H. B. 
Grigg appears to contradict himself when, while speaking 
of the Kurumbas, he says that " in the low country they are 
" called Kurubas or Curubdru, and are divided into numerous 
" families, such as the ' Kn& ' or Elephant, Ndya or Dog, 
" M41e or Hill Kurumbas." Such a distinction between 
Mountain-Kuxumbas and Plain-Kumbas cannot be estab- 
lished. The Rev. G. Eichter will find it difficult to prove 
that the Eurubas of Mysore are only called so as shepherds, 
and that no connection exists between these Kurubas and the 
Kurumbas. Mr. Lewis Rice calls the wild tribes as well aa 
the shepherds Kurubas, but seems to overlook the fact that 
both terms are identical and refer only to the ethnological 
distinction. Instead of Kuruba he uses also occasionally 
Kurumba. In the Tamil language all the Kurumbas are 

103 Or Velanadu. Near Chingleput in Valanftdu lies Vallam with an 
ancient temple on the top of the hiE and Vajam in Tanjore is also situated 
on a height. I am not ignorant of the fact that the term Valanddu ia 
generally explained as the extensive or excellent district. (See F. M. Ellis' 
Mirdsi Article, p. 229, and Mr. Nelson's Manual, Part II, p. 49.) In Mr. 
Nelson's Manual of Madura the Vallama Nadu in Tanjore is mentioned 
in Part II, on pp. 28 and 57 and " the VeUa(Vala) Nadu, near Kaachipuram 
(Conjeveram)," on p. 44, the Vala Ndifu or excellent district of Madura 
on p. 49. 


called Kunnnbar, and, as we shall see hereafter, they are 
divided into Anda or Andai-Kurumbar, KambaU-Kurumbar^ 
Kurumba-Idaiyar, Cimndmbu-Kurumbar, 8fc. The ethnological 
origin of Kuruba, shepherd, is proved by the occurrence of 
such terms as Kuri-Kuruba, Sheep-Kuruba, HamU-Kuruba, 
Pig-Kuruba. The Kurubas or Kurumbas embraced the 
occupation of herdsmen to such an extent, that the tribal 
designation became in course of time a professional one. In 
English the term shepherd is on the other hand used in such 
a general sense, that the original meaning of shepherd, as 
a herd of sheep, the German Schafhirt, is quite forgotten. 
The expression Kuri-Kuruba would mean sheejy-shepherd, if 
the original signification of Kuruba were really shepherd. 

Now it happens that one of the principal occupations of 
the Kurubas or Kurumbas is that of tending sheep, and by a 
peculiar coincidence knri or kori is a common Gauda-Dravi- 
dian term for sheep, from which can also be derived the word 
Kuruban, in the sense of shepherd. In fact the term kuruba 
in Kanarese, kuruban in Malayalam and Tulu, and goUadu 
or goUavddu in Telugu denote a shepherd, but the Tamil 
kurumbaii in the sense of shepherd refers only to the 
Kurumba shepherd, and the sheep peculiar to the Kurumbas 
is called Kurumbddu, in Tamil ^j)ithuirQ, go far as the 
Telugu golladu is concerned, I must at once remark that I 
think it incorrect to connect this word with the Sanskrit term 
go, cow. Golladu or Gollavadu is derived from golla the 
Casus Oonstructus (tatamu) in the plural of gorre, sheep, 
plural gorrelu or gorho changed into gollu. I have been since 
informed by reliable authority that in the Telugu-speaking 
districts the term gollavadu is particularly applied to herds- 
men of sheep or shepherds. The Kurumba herdsmen are 
styled in Tamil Kurumba Idaiyar, and in Telugu Kurumba 

'"* Compare Mr. Grigg'a Manual of the NUagiri District, p. 208, Rev. G. 
Kichter's Ethnographical Compendium, p. 11 (see note 108 on p. 230), and Mr. 
Lewis Rice's Mgsore and Coorg, vol. Ill, pp. 20, 49, 57, 207, 208, 214, 216. 


But we have also to deal with another word which 
resembles kuru mountain ; this is the term kuru short, which 
occurs in Tamil, Malayalam, Tulu, Kanarese and Telugu. 
Peculiarly enough a large percentage of the Kurumhas, more 
especially those who inhabit the hill-ranges have a short 
almost dwarfish figure, so that the etymology may appear 
appropriate in their case. A similar derivation from the 
Malayalam ceru, small, in Tamil and Telugu ciru, is actually 
suggested to explain the name of the praedial slaves of Mala- 
bar, the ill treated Ceramas or Cerumas. This tribe is in 
reality called after their native country Cera, of which they 
were, so far as we know, the original rulers, until they were 
suppressed and finally reduced to abject slavery by their 
present masters, the Nairs. The Kurumhas have shared a 
similar fate in many places. The Ceramas can therefore be 
compared with their fellow sufferers, the Kudamas. 

The stunted growth of animals and plants in cold, wet 
and high elevations is a well-known natural law, to which the 
human species has also to submit. In consequence of their 
loneliness and comparative physical weakness, the small 

In the late Mr. 0. P. Brown's Telugu- English Dictionary vie find 
gollata, sr'ejS, given as signifying a woman of the oowkeeper caste, and 
gollatamu, ffeiSam, as the cowherd class. This is, I think, not quite correct. 
Later Telugu Lexicographers have adopted and perpetuated the mistake of 
Mr. Brown. The same meaning is contained in Kanarese dictionaries, as 
Kanarese also possesses the word golla, as a caste of herdsmen. The Kana- 
rese term is most likely taken from Telugu. Mr. W. Logan speaks in his 
Malaiar Manual, vol. I, p. 114, of the Koruha Golla as herdsmen. Compare 
Dr. Buchanan's Travels, vol. II, pp. 433, 434 : " Sheep are an object of 
great importance, and are of the kind called Curi in the language of Karnata. 
They .are kept by two castes, the Curubaru and Goalaru. A man of either 
caste, who possesses a flock of sheep, is by the Mussalmans called a Donigar. 
The Curubaru are of two kinds ; those properly so called, and those named 
Sand!/ or Cumly Curubaru. The Curubaru proper, and the Goalaru, are some- 
times cultivators, and possess the largest flocks ; hut they never make 
blankets. . . The flocks contained by the former two castes contain from 30 to 
300 breeding-lives." 

The GoUas of Aurangabad appear to he identical with the wandering 
KuTuvas; for according to the Gazetteer of that district (p. 309) : " The Col- 
lars move about with droves of asses, or are employed as goatherds. They 


mountaineers, when they meet their taller but less clever 
neighbours of the plains, display often a spiteful distrust, 
use poisonous arrows and frighten them by their mysterious 
proceedings into abject superstition. This is the reason why 
the Kurumbas of the Nilagiri Hills are so shunned ; and why 
dwarfs in general are treated with suspicion, as is shown by 
the well-known native proverb : " One may trust a thief, 
but not a dwarf." 

When pointing out the different meanings of the word 
palli, I specially drew attention to the fact that it signified 
originally aDravidian village or town, andremarkably enough 
the Gaudian Kurumbas also possess similar terms, which 
must have been at first applied to their villages. I speak 
of kuricci, a village in mountainous regions, and kurumbu, 
a village situated in desert tracts. 

Moreover to the Dravidian Pallavan, as chief of the Palla 
people, corresponds the Gaudian Kuruppu, the Kurumba 
headman in the Kuriimbaranadu of Malabar. 

On the sub-divisions among the Kueumbas. 

The Kurumbas represent a very numerous community, 
who are subdivided into many classes. Most of these sub- 
divisions indicate either the place of their habitation, or the 
pursuit and profession they follow to gain their livelihood. 
In some cases these professional terms have become tribal 
names. In the various provinces of the Indian Empire and 
in the different vernaculars of this country distinct names are 
given to the several subdivisions, so that the same class is 
called differently in sundry districts ; the Tamil and Kana- 
rese descriptions differ thus in their nomenclature. 

rear dog3,huut jackals, iguanas, and wild animals, and live in the neighbour- 
hood of towns and villages. The women heg, and are said to be great thieves." 
In the last Census Report the GoUas are divided into Erra, Gauda, Kadu, 
Kanuadi, Kama, Kuruba, Mushti, Puja, Puri, Peddeti and Uru GoUas, 
Kurumbas and Yadavulu. They are classed as Dravidians, and number 
1,258,786 souls. 


The Kurumbas are as jealous about their social position 
as the other Hindus. ^°^ They have fought and are still 
fighting when the opportunity occurs with great pertinacity 
against any real or imaginary encroachments on their rights 
of precedence. Very serious disturbances used to take place 
at the great annual festival held about February in the Siva 
shrine at Muduhutnrai in the Kollegal Taltikj where about 
50,000 people assemble on the banks of the Kaveri, and 

'"* About tlie ensigns compare pp. 63, 64, n. 59. 

See Mackenzie CoUection, No. 9, CM. 763, XII; No. 11, CM. 765 ; No. 
14, CM. 768, Vni ; No. 20, CM. 774, X, and Dr. Francis Buchanan's 
Journey from Madras through the Countries of Mysore, Canara and Malabar, 
vol. I, pp. 274-276, 312, 379-381, 389 ; vol. II, pp. 3, 40, 155, 156, 433-436. 
In vol. I, pp. 274-276 he says : " The Curubaru are an original caste of 
Karnata, and, wherever they are settled, retain their language. They are 
divided into two tribes, that have no communion, and which are called Sandy 
Curubaru, and Curubaru proper. The last again are divided into a number of 
families ; such as the Any, or elephant Curubaru ; the Sal, or Milk Curu- 
baru ; the Colli, or fire C; the NeUy C; the Sdmanta C; the Coti C; 
the Asil C; and the Murhindina Curubaru. These families are like the 
Gotrams of the Brahmans ; it being considered as incestuous for two persons of 
the same family to intermarry. The proper Curubas have hereditary chiefs, 
who are called Gaudas, whether they be headmen of villages or not, and possess 
the usual jurisdiction. Some of them can read accompts, but they have no 
book. The proper duty of the caste is that of shepherds, and of blanket- 
weavers ; and in general they have no other dress than a blanket. A few of 
those who are rich have betaken themselves to the luxury of wearing cotton 
cloth next their skin ; for all castes and ranks in this country wear the blanket 
as an outer garment. The dress of the women resembles that of the females 
of the kingdom of Ava. The blanket is put behind the back, and the two 
upper comers, being brought forward imder the arms, are crossed over the 
bosom, and secured by the one being tucked under the other. As their blanket 
is larger than the cloth used by the women of Ava, the dress is more decent- 
The Curubaru were, besides, Candachara, or militia ; cultivators, as farmers, 
as servants, and as gardeners ; Attavana, or the armed men who serve the 
Amildars ; Anchay, or post-messengers, and porters. They are allowed to eat 
animal food, but in most places are not permitted to drink spirituous liquors. 
In other places this strictness is not required, and almost everywhere they 
intoxicate themselves with pahn-wine. The women are very industrious, 
and perform every kind of work except digging and ploughing. Even after 
the age of puberty they continue marriageable, and can only be divorced for 
adultery. In this caste the custom of Cutiga, or concubinage, prevails ; that 
is, all adulteresses who are turned away by their husbands, |and have not 
gone astray with a strange man, and all girls and widows, to whom a life of 
celibacy is disagreeable, may live with any man of the caste who chooses to 
keep them. They are looked down upon by their more virtuous sisters ; but 



Government had to interfere and to arrange that the Ku- 
pumbas and the Gangadikaras should attend the fair on 
different days, so as to prevent theu- meeting each other. On 
another occasion the Kurumbas collected and spent about 
10,000 rupees to obtain from the records in Kancipuram 
documentary evidence in confirmation of their claims. One 
of the disputes between the Kurumbas and the Gangadikaras 
concerns the question who are the IndraStidras and who the 

still they are admitted into company, and are not out-casts. Among the 
Curubaru, the children of concubines do not form a separate caste, hut are 
allowed to marry with those of a pure breed. By a connection with any man, 
except a C'liruia, a woman becomes an entire out;oast. The men take several 
wives ; and, if they be good workers, do not always divorce them for adxiltery ; 
but as they thus incur some disgrace, they must appease the anger of their 
kindred by giving them an entertainment, and the Guru generally interposes 
his authority to prevent a separation. The Curubas believe, that those men 
who die without having been married become Ylrikas, to whose images, at a 
great annual feast, which is celebrated on purpose, offerings of red cloth, jagory 
rice, &o., are made. If this feast be omitted, the Virikas become enraged, 
occasion sickness, kill the sheep, alarm the people by horrid dreams, and, 
when they walk out at night, strike them on the back. They are only to be 
appeased by the celebration of the proper feast. The peculiar god of the caste is 
Sir' -uppa, or father Biray, one of the names of Siva ; and the image is in shape 
of the Linga ; but no other person prays to Siva under his name, nor ofEers 
sacrifices to that god, which is the mode by which the Curubas worship Bir'- 
uppa. The priests who officiate in the temples of this deity are Curubas. Their 
office is hereditary, and they do not intermarry with the daughters of laymen. 
In some districts, the (7!»-!4j«s worship another god, peculiar, I believe, to them- 
selves. He is called Battay Devaru, and is a destructive spirit. They offer 
sacrifices to him in woods, by the sides of rivulets, or ponds. The carcasses 
of the animals killed before the image are given to the barber and washerman, 
who eat them. Besides these, the Curubaru off'er sacrifices to the Saktis, and 
pray to every object of superstition (except Dharma Sdja) that comes in their 
way. They are considered too impure to be allowed to wear the Linga, as 
their Gtcru does. This person is called a Wodear, or Jangama ; but he is 
married, and his office is hereditary. His title is Rdvana Sidhesivara, and he 
originally lived at Sariir, which is near Ealydnapattana. At his visits he 
bestows consecrated ashes, and receives charity. He has a fixed due on 
marriages, and sends his agents to collect it. At some of their ceremonies the 
Pimchdnga attends, and acts as Purohita." On page 312 Buchanan says : 
" The Curubas here (in TumkQr) say, that at a temple of Bhaimwa at Sermy 
Samudra, which is near Mercasera, to the north of this place, and where one 
of their caste acts as Pujdri, the image represents a man sitting on horseback 
with the Linga, round his neck, and a drawn sword in his hand, they offer 
sacrifices to this image and eat the flesh. The family of Havana have now 
spread all over the country ; but Sarur is still considered as the proper famUy 


Sukrasudras ; the Kurumbas claiming to be Indraiudras and 
calling the Gangadikaras Sukra&fidras, and vice versd. The 
lonner expression indicates the issue of married, and the 
latter that of unmarried women. 

They carry an enormous white umbrella and a flag with 
the figure of a bull, and of this umbrella they proudly say 
that it covers the world. It is therefore known as Jagajam- 
pina sattige. 

seat. Ttieir Guru has the power of restoring any out-east to the en]'oyment of 
full communion. They have a book peculiar to the caste called Jiraga Clia- 
pagodu. It is written in the language of Karndta, and gives an account of 
the tribe. The Curubaru buy their wives, a girl of a good family costs from 
30 to 40 fanams ; a girl of the bastard or Cutiga breed costs 15 fanams, or 
10s." On pp. 379-81 he describes the Kadu and Betta Kurumbas : " The Cad" 
Curubaru are a rude tribe of Karndta, who are exceedingly poor and wretched. 
In the fields near villages they build miserable low huts, have a few rags only 
for covering, and the hair of both sexes stands out matted like a mop, and 
swarms with vermin. Their persons and features are weak and unseemly, 
and their complexion is very dark. Some of them hire themselves as labour- 
ing servants to the farmers, and, like those of other castes, receive monthly 
wages. Others, in crop season, watch the fields at night, to keep off the 
elephants and wild hogs . . Their manner of driving away the elephant is by 
running against him with a burning torch made of bamboos. . . The Curubaru 
have no means of killing so large an animal . . The wild hogs are driven out 
of the fields by slings . . These poor people frequently suffer from tigers, 
against which their wretched huts are a poor defence ; and, when this wild 
beast is urged by hunger, he is regardless of their burning torches. The Curu- 
baru have dogs, with which they catch deer, antelopes and hares; and they have 
the art of taking in snares peacocks, and other esculent birds. They have no 
hereditary chiefs, but assemble occasionally to settle the business of their caste. 
They confine their marriages to their own tribe. The Gauda, or chief man of 
the village, presides at this ceremony, which consists of a feast. During this 
the bridegroom espouses his mistress, by tying a string of beads around her 
neck. The men are allowed to take several wives, and both girls after the age 
of puberty, and widows are permitted to marry. In case of adultery, the 
husband flogs his wife severely, and if he be able, beats her paramour. If he 
be not able, he applies to the Gauda, who does it for him. The adulteress has 
then her choice of following either of the men as her husband. They can eat 
everything except beef ; and have no objection to the animal having died 
a natural death. . . They do not drink spiritous liquors. None of them take 
the vow of Ddseri nor attempt to read. Some of them bum, and others bury 
the dead. They believe that good men, after death, will become benevolent 
Devas, and bad men destructive Devas. . . The spirits of the dead are believed 
to appear in dreams to their old people, and to direct them to make offerings of 
fruits to a female deity, named Bettada Chicmna ; that is, the little mother of 
the hill. Unless these offerings are made, this goddess occasions sickness; 


I have been informed that there exist ae many as 23 
Kiirumba subdivisions. 

The Mackenzie Manuscripts contain in this respect valu- 
able information about the Tamil Kurumbas, while Dr. 
Francis Buchanan supplies interesting accounts of the 
Kanarese Kurumbas. Among such distinctions may be 
mentioned the Malai or Betta Kurumbas, who are confined 
to the mountains, and the Kddu Kurumhas, who dwell in 
forests. It is probable that the Mullu Kurumbas, who are 

tut she 18 never supposed to do her votaries any good. She is not, however, 
appeased hy tloody sacrifices. There is a temple dedicated to her near 
Nunjinugodu ; but there is no occasion for the offering being made at that 
place. There is also in this neighbourhood (of Hegodu Devana Cotay) an- 
other rude tribe of Ouniharu, called Betta, or Malaya, both words signifying 
mountain, the one in the Karnata, and the other in the Tamil language. . - 
They are not so wretched nor ill-looking as .the Gai' Curubaru, but are of 
diminutive stature. They live in poor huts near the villages, and the 
chief employment of the men is the cutting of timber, and making of baskets 
.... The Betta Curubaru have an hereditary chief called Ijyamana, who 
lives at Friya-pattana. . . In this tribe, the concubines, or Cutigaa, are 
women that prefer another man to their husband, or widows who do not 
wish to relinquish carnal enjoyment. Their children are not considered as 

' ' Grirls are not considered as marriageable until after the age of puberty, 
custom that by the higher orders is considered as a beastly depravity. The 
men may take several wives, but never marry a woman of the same family 
with themselves in the male line. The Betta Curubaru never intoxicate 
themselves ; but are permitted to eat every kind of animal food except beef, 
and they have no objection to carrion. They never take the vow of Daseri, 
and none of them can read. Some of them bum, and others bury their dead. 
They imderstand nothing of a future state. The god of the caste is Ejuruppa, 
who seems to be the same with Hanumanta, the servant of Eama, but they 
never pray to this last-mentioned deity although they sometimes address 
Siva. To the god of their caste they ofEer fruit, and a little money ; they 
never sacrifice to the Saktis. Their Qiini, they say, is of the caste Woti- 
tneru, and from their description would appear to be of those people called 
Satananas." On p. 389 : " Bhairawa Devaru is the god of the Ciirubas, and 
is a malevolent male spirit .... The Pujari, or priest, is a Hal Cunibai-u, 
who can neither read nor write." Compare further vol. II, pp. 3, 42, 433- 
436 : " The Curubaru arc of two kinds ; those properly so called, and those 
named Sandy or Cumly Curubaru. The Curubaru proper, and the Goalaru, 
are sometimes cultivators, and possess the largest flocks ; but they never 
make blankets. The Handy Curubas abstain entirely from cultivation, and 
employ themselves in tending their flocks, and manufacturing the wool. . . The 
Randy Curubaru . . . are a caste li-jong in the Harapunya-hulty and Chatrakal 


found in the Nilagiri Mountains, are so called from mulhi, 
thorn, as they live among the jungle ; if so, the term is to 
some extent synonymous with Kddu Kurumbas. Some think 
that the word muUu may apply to their arrows, as these 
sturdy, well-made mountaineers are never seen without their 
bows and arrows. As regards their neighbours whom the 
Rev. F. Metz, otherwise a great authority on this Bubject, 
calls Naya Kurumbas, and Mr, Grrigg JVdya or Dog Kurumbas, 
I have ascertained on reliable authority that their name is 
in reality not Naya but Ndyaka Kurumbas, and that they 
are held in respect by the neighbouring tribes. The Mullu 

districts, and are of Kamata descent. . . All those who have settled in that 
(Marattah) country being horsemen, they are called Handay Rmalar, a name 
pronounced Eawut by the Mussulmans, and by them frequently applied 
to every Hnd of Cwubas . . . The deities, whom this caste consider as 
their peculiar objects of worship, are Bira Deva, and his sister Mctyma. 
Bira is, they say, the same with Iswara, and resides in Kailasa . . There 
is only one temple of Bira, which is situated on Curi Jletta, or the sheep 
hill, on the banks of the Elrishna, near the Poonah. There is also only one 
temple dedicated to Mayava. It is near the Krishna, at a place named 
Chinsuli. Once in ten years, every man of the caste ought to go to these 
two temples ; but a great many do not find leisure for the performance 
of this duty. These deities do not receive bloody sacrifices, but are worship- 
ped by offerings of fruit and flowers. The priests {Fujaris) at both these 
temples are Curubaru, and, as the ofi&ce is hereditary, they of course marry. . 
Besides the worship of the deities proper to the caste, the Curubaa offer 
sacrifices to some of the destructive spirits, such as Burgawa, Jacani, and 
Barama Deva. . . The Curuiaru have no trouble from Pysaehi ; and ordinary 
Butas, or devils, they believe, are expelled by prayer addressed to the deities 
of the caste. At Sujiny, in the Harapunya-huUy district, resides Ravana 
Siddheswara, the Guru of this caste." In bis description of Malabar, 
Buchanan speaks in vol. II., pp. 156—158 of the Curumbalum or Catalun 
in Kurumbaranadu : ' ' Another caste of Malayala, condi5mned to slavery, 
is called in the singular Catal or Gurumhal, and in the plural Catalam rsi 
Curiimbalmi. They reckon themselves higher than the Churman, Polian, 
or Parian. The deity is worshipped by this caste under the name of 
Malayadevan, or the god of the hill, and is represented by a stone placed on 
a heap of pebbles. This place of worship is on a hill, named Turuta Malwy, 
near Sivapurata, in Gurumbara Nada. To this place the Catalun annually 
go, and offer their prayers, coco-nuts, spirituous liquors, and such like, but 
make no sacrifices, nor have they any kind of priest. They pray chiefly 
for their own worldly happiness, and for that of their relations. The spirits 
of good men after death are supposed to have the power of inflicting disease, 
and are appeased by offerings of distilled and fermented liquors, which the 
votary drinks after he has called upon the spirit to take such part of them 


Kiirumbas live particularly on the eastern side of the hills 
in their middle belts, while the ]Vaya or Nayaka Kurumbas 
inhabit generally the lower slopes of this range as well as of 
the Wynaad. It appears that the latter are identical with 
those who are elsewhere called Jenu Kurumbas, or Honey 
Kurumbas, because they gather honey for their own use as 
well as for sale. These Jenu Kurumbas are also found in 

About the Kurumbas of the Nilagiri-Mountain-rdnge, 
we are favoured with various pretty accurate accounts. 
Among these deserve special mention the writings of the late 
Bev. Ferdinand Metz ^"^ of the Basel Lutheran Mission, who 

as ■will pacify his resentment. The dead bodies of good men are burned, but 
those of bad men, in order to confine their spirits, are buried ; for, if they 
escape, they are supposed to occasion great trouble. It is not customar}', 
howeTer, to make any ofierings to these evil spirits. This caste has no 
hereditary chiefs ; but disputes are settled by the elders who never inflict a 
severer punishment than a mulct of some Betel-leaf. . The tradition here 
is, that Cheruman Permal divided the whole of Malayala among four families, 
who were called Rajas, but whose dominions were afterwards subdivided 
amongst innumerable petty chiefs, and younger branches of the original 
families. These four families, however, always maintained a superiority 
of rank, which they at this day retain. Thej are, the Coluta-nada Raja, 
commonly called Cherical; the Venatra, or Rdjd of Travancore ; the Ferum- 
hunipa, or Coehi Ritjd, and the Eniada, or Tamuri. The dominions of the 
latter were originally very small. The same story concerning them is told 
here {Pyiir or Eivurmalay) that was related at Calicut. In process of time 
the Ciinimhara family, who seem to have been a branch descended from the 
Cochi Rdjds, seized on a part of Coluta-nada, which included all the northern 
parts of Malayali. Among other usurpations, this family seized on Eivurmalay, 
of which they were afterwards stript by the ancestors of the three Wau- 
namar. Another Kshatriya family called ftiteyAwMi/ (Co<io^«), who seem to 
have been descended from a younger sister of the Curmnbara Rdjds, seized 
on another portion of Coluta-nada lying between TelUcherry and the Ghats. 
The Curumiara Nada Raids became extinct in the Malabar year 954 (1778- 
1779), five years after Syder invaded the country." 

About the Kurumbas of Southern India consult also Abbe Dubois' De- 
scription of the People of India, second edition, p. 342, and the Manual of 
Madura by Mr. J. H. Nelson, Part II, pp. 64, 65. 

"•* Compare Rev. F. Metz The Tribes inhabitiny the Seilyhm-ry Hills, 
pp. 115-126; "The Todas divide the Kurumbas into three classes— The 
MuUu Kurumbas, the Naya Kurumbas, and the Panias. The two latter live 
in the Wynaad. The Panias are not looked upon as sorcerers, as are the other 
two classes, and are chiefly employed as the laborers of the Badagas who 


spent the best part of his life in intimate intercourse with 
the hill-tribes, among whom he commanded the highest 
respect for the genuine kindness he showed to them and the 
utter vinselfishness he displayed towards the amelioration of 
their position. Yery valuable information is also contained 
in the writings of the late Colonel Ouchterlony, in the 
Account of the late Mr. J. Wilkinson Breeks, Commissioner of 

have settled in the Wynaad. Each Badaga district has its own Kurumha 
priest, who comes up at the ploughing season, and sows the first handful of 
grain ; and at harvest time also before the sickle is put to the crop. And 
if a standing crop should at any time he attacked hy insects, he is sent for, 
and has to go through the ceremony of lowing like a caU, which the 
Badagas helieve has the effect of killing the insect. . The Mullu and Naya 
Kurumbas are believed to possess the power of killing men by sorcery, and so 
greatly are they feared that, if a Badaga meet a Kurumba in a jungle alone, 
death from sheer terror is not unfrequently the consequence. . . The cairns 
and cromlechs found in various parts of the hills, . . were, I think, pro- 
bably the work of the ancestors of the Kurumbas. . . During the 1 3 years that 
I have labored amongst and mixed with the hiU-tribes, 1 have never found the 
Todas in any way interested in the cairns, whilst the fact of their making no 
objections to their being opened, taken in connection with the circumstance of 
the contents frequently consisting of parts of plough-shares, sickles, and other 
implements of husbandry, showing that the cairns were constructed by an 
agricultural race which the Todas never were, are to me convincing proofs 
that they are not the work of the Todas of a past generation. The Badagas 
and Kotas, on the other hand, are to a, certain degree afraid to approach 
them . . I was once on a preaching excursion in a district near the southern 
boundary of the hills, and not very far from the principal Kurmnba village, 
called MuUi, and after the labors of the day felt a curiosity to open a cairn 
which happened to be in the neighbourhood. Much to my surprise however 
the Badaga headmen present would not permit me to do so, not on account of 
any objections they had themselves to make, but because, as they said, it was 
the residence of the god of the Kurumbas, who came up frequently from 
Mulli in order to worship the god of their forefathers. This is the only 
occasion on which I have ever known any of the bill tribes venerate a cairn, 
as the depository of the ashes of a deceased ancestor ; but, viewed in connec- 
tion with what I have already stated, I think it is sufficient to justify the 
supposition that the Kurumbas of old, when masters of the tableland may 
have constructed these remarkable cemeteries ; and this consideration is fur- 
ther borne out by the fact that the common tradition among Todas, Badagas, 
and Kotas, is that they are the graves of a very wicked race of people, who, 
though diminutive in stature, were at the same time powerful enough to 
raise the large blocks of granite of which the walls of Hoolicaldroog are built ; 
and that God drove them from the hills on account of their wickedness — a 
■description which would well apply to the case of the Kurumbas, who, in 
addition to being feared and detested, are as a race much stunted in their 


the Nilagiris, in the reports of Deputy-Surgeon-General 
Dr. John Shortt, and in the exhaustive and valuable Manual 
of the Nllagiri District compiled by Mr. H. B. Grigg, late 
Assistant Commissioner of the Nilagiris."'' 

growth. The cromlechs were doubtless the work of the same people as the 
cairns. . The Kurumhas call their deity Kuribattaraya, meaning, Lord or 
possessor of sheep and to him they now and then sacrifice a goat or a fowl." 

"" Compare Dr. Shortt' s Article on the Kurumbas in the Hill Ranges of 
Southern India, Parti, pp. 47-53 : " Kurumbas — From © JJ'iil-/ (Kurmnboo) 
mischief, the characteristic of a class of savages who are supposed to be the 
aborigines of Southern India, from which the term Kurumba is derived. A 
tribe, who call themselves, and are recognized as Kurumbas, having three 
sub-divisions among them, viz. : — 1. MuUu Kurumba. 2. Naya Kurmnba. 
3. Panias Kuramba. . . The Mullu Kurumbas chiefly occupy the middle belts of 
these hiUs, while the other two divisions are confined to the lower slopes, or 
are inhabitants of the Wynaad jungles, but the tribe generally is recognized 
as mountaineers. . The Kurumba tribe are small in stature, and have a squalid 
and somewhat uncouth appearance from their peculiar physiognomy, wild 
matted hair, and almost nude bodies. . They are as a body sickly- looking, 
pot-bellied, large -mouthed, prognathous, with prominent out-standing teeth 
and thick lips— frequently saliva dribbles away from their mouths. . . The 
men show great agility in climbing and descending hills, trees, &c. The 
women have much the same features as the men, only somewhat softened in 
expression, and slightly modified in feature, with a small pug nose, and surly 
aspect. . Their villages are termed Motta. . They have no furniture. . They 
have no marriage ceremony. . Those Kurumbas who live on the Hills ofiiciate 
as priests to the liadagas. . The Badaga will do nothing without the presence 
of a Kurumba, so that each district has its own Kurumba priest. . He is 
supposed to be well versed in the use of herbs, and prescribes for all ailments; 
implicit confidence is placed in his skill, and he is remunerated either in 
money or grain, and sometimes both. The Kurumbas also oificiate as priests 
at their marriages and deaths. . . The Kurumbas, as a body, keep the other 
tribes in great dread of witchcraft, not even excepting the Todas, who look 
upon the Kurumbas as great adepts in the power and skill of bewitching or 
destroying men, animals, or other property. . . The Kurumbas are also 
employed as musicians by the Toda and Badaga tribes on all ceremonial and 
festive occasions ; they play on the flute and tom-tom very dexterously to 
the admiration of the Todas and Badagas. . They withstand the endemic 
diseases of the locality pretty well, and are not subject to fever. . They 
hold some crude notions of a superior being, whom they designate under a 
variety of names, with no distinct idea as to who or what he is. . The 
Kurumbas are superstitious, and while they keep all the other tribes on these 
Hills in awe, they themselves fear the Todas, believing that they possess 
supernatural powers over them. They are said to hold in respect, and make 
offerings at, the different cairns and cromlechs met with on these HiUs, and 
from which it is believed that these cairns and cromlechs are the work of 
their ancestors. Against this, their weak and dwarfed stature is brought 


So far as the Kurumbas of Kurg are concerned, we are 
mainly indebted to the Rev. G. Eichter who wrote an Ethno- 

forward as an objection, as most of these cairns and cromlechs are built of 
huge stones, such as it is believed the Kurumba tribe could not move in the 
absence of suitable appliances. . . Some of the Todas do attribute the cairns 
and cromlechs to the Kurumbas.' ' 

Consult further the late Mr. James Wilkinson Breeks' Account of the 
Primitive Tribes and Monuments of the Nllagiris^-^^. 48-66: "In the Tabu- 
lated Census Returns they are entered under the following castes or divi- 
sions : — Eda Kurumban,Karmadiya Kurumban, Kurumban, KurumbanOkki- 
liyan, Male Kurumban, Pal Kurumban. . They generally, however, say they 
have no caste, but are divided into higas or families, which do not intermarry. 
It is difficult to get a complete account of the tribal divisions recognised by 
them. One man will name you one (his own) ; another two divisions ; 
another three, and so on. The headman of the village enumerated four • — 

1. Betta Kiiriimias who live on the slopes, and near the Mysore ditch. 

2. Kambale Kurumbas, who make blankets (cambly), and live in the low 
country, in the Konguru (Coimbatore). 3. MuUii Kurumbas (he did not know 
where they lived). 4. Anda XH)'!(mias, who, like himself, live on the eastern 
slopes. Pal Kurumbas are also vaguely mentioned sometimes. ^ ISome Kurum- 
bas whom I have met with, profess, in answer to inquiries, to worship Siva, 
and occasionally women mark their forehead with the Saiva spot. Others, 
living near Barliar, worship Kuribattraya (lord of many sheep), and the wife 
of Siva under the name of Musni. They worship also a rough round ston& 
under the name of Hiriadeva, setting it up either in a cave or in a circle of 
stones like the so-called ' Kurumba Kovil ' of the Badagas, which the latter 
seem to have borrowed from the Kurumbas. . They do not consider the stone 
as a lingam, although they profess to be Saivites. . Each Badaga Grama, 
with its group of villages, keeps a Kurumba priest called Edni Eunimba. . The 
office is hereditary. In April and May, before sowing time, a goat or young 
male builalo is supplied by the cultivators, and the Kani Kurumba is sum- 
moned to make the sacrifice. Surrounded by the villagers, the officiating 
priest cuts oS the head of the animal, and sprinkles the blood in three direc- 
tions, east, west, and south, and also on a water-worn stone, which is con- 
sidered as a " Hutu (natural) lingam." No words are spoken, but after 
the sprinkling, the Kiurumba clasps his hands behind his head, shouting Do, 
Do, So, three times and bows the head to ' Mother Earth.' The priest gets 
the head, and the Badagas the body, of the goat, which is taken home and 
eaten. In the Jakaneri Grama this ceremony is performed at the cromlech ; 
in Tenad, at a rude circle of stone surrounding a water-worn stone for a 
lingam. They call the place the ' Kurumba Kovil ' (Kurumba Church)... The 
Kurumbas near Rangaswami's Peak told me that some Kurumbas buried 
their dead, but that they themselves burned theirs, and that the nearest rela- 
tives next day took some boiled rice in a cloth and a small round stone, and 
perhaps a bone from the funeral pile, and deposited them for the dead in the 
Sdvumane (death-house) belonging to the Motta. At Barliar they do the same. 
These Sdvumanes are small cromlechs of three upright stones and a covering 
slab ; they said they did not now make them, but that they used those made 
by their forefathers. . They knew of no god peculiar to the Kurumbas, nor 



graphical Cotnpendnm . . of Coorg ; but the Gazetteer of Mysore 
and Coorg by Mr. Lewis Eice should also be consulted. i"* 

had they any temple, but at a certain season they took offerings of plantains 
to the Pujdri (a Tamil man) who attended on Maleswara (lord of the moun- 
tain), the god who lived on a hill known by that name." — I take the Jida to 
he the Idaiya Kurumha. 

Compare with these extracts Colonel Ouchterlony's Geographical and 
Statistical Memoir . . of the Neilghei-ri/ Mountains, pp. 62, 63 in Dr. Shortt's 
Bill Ranges, Part I, and Mr. H. B. (jrigg'a Chapter on the Kurumbas in his 
Manual of the Nllagiri District, pp. 208-217. 

'"'* About the Kurumbas of Kurg consult Rev. G. Kichter's Etltnographieal 
Compendium . . . of Coorg, pp. H-l.^. " The Kurumbas of Coorg are closely 
connected with those of the jungles of South-Mysore and with the Kurumbas 
of the Nilgiries, . . but there is now no intercourse between them, nor have 
they any connexion with the shepherd caste of Mj-sore, the Kurubas who live 
in the open country in mixed villages and tend cattle, sheep and swine and 
also weave cumblies, whence they are called Ualu-, Ktiri, Sandi- and Cambli 
Kurubas. The Kuriiinhas in Coorg are divided into two distinct sections, 
the Jenu and the Betta Kurumbas. The Jenu Kurumbas are foimd in the north 
and south-east of Coorg scattered in the jungles. They have no fixed 
abode but wander about from place to place in search of honey, hence their 
name, Jeiiu meaning honey in Kanarese. . In appearance the Jenu Kurumbas 
are not unlike the Betta Kurumbas ; but the men do not tie their hair in a 
knot, and from carelessness it often gets matted. . The women who dress like 
the Canarese Vokkaligas tie their rather curly hair into a knot at the back of 
the head. Those I saw had regular features and might have been taken for 
Vohlcaligas. Also in their wedding ceremonies they conform to those of the 
Vokkaligas, but worship Kari Kali at Kutta like the Coorgs. . . The name 
Bella or Kadti Kurumbas is derived from their abode. . A short flat nose, which 
in the women is turned up with deep indentation at the root, prominent lips, 
small dark deep-set eyes do not enhance the personal attractiveness of the 
Betta Kurumba, jet he is a harmless good-humoured fellow and industrious 
at his work as long as it pleases him. He loves above all things personal 
freedom and independence and is quite in is native element when roaming 
about on a hunting expedition as tracker of large game. . . In their religious 
practices they are devoted to demon worship and once within three years they 
bring the usual offering (Kanike) of money, fowl, cocoanut and plantains to 
Kiiltiulamma or Karinkali (Black Kali) at Kurchi near the south-east frontier 
of Coorg. The eatables are shared between the pujari who is a Vokkaliga, 
and the devotee. At the Kutludamma ./atri (March-April) the &■<<« Kurum- 
bas perform a dance accompanied by drum and gong ; they also wear small 
round bells igejje) below the knee and in a stooping posture with outstretched 
arms and clenched fists they vigorously move round. They do not venerate 
snakes, but kill them, nor do they apply Vibhuti or sacred ashes. The 
Betta Kurumbas are divided into two sections or gotras, the Mundpudi, literally 
families belonging to three hamlets, and the Yelpadi or families belonging 
to seven hamlets, and as among the higher castes of Hindus, members of 
the same gotra, do not intermarry . . . Their principal Bhutas are Ajja and 
Kuda. . - In case of sickness what remedies are known to the elders are 
applied and vows made to the demon, Kuttadamma, and fulfilled on recovery. 


According to their rank the first to be considered are 
the Anda Kurumbas who superintend the administration. 
Next follow the Kurumba Okhaligas or agricultural Kurum- 
bas whom we find mentioned in the Nilagiri Census Eeport. 
Though the number assigned to them is very insignificant, 
the circumstance of their being reported at all is highly- 
interesting, for it supplies a link to connect them with a 
respectable and influential class of people in Mysore, the 
well-known Okkaligaru. Okkalu, pronounced Vokkalu, signi- 
fies in Kanarese ' tenancy,' okkalatana, husbandry, and 
okkaliga, a farmer or cultivator. Dr. Buchanan calls this 
caste, which is very numerous in Mysore, also Cunabis. 
These I shall eventually identify with the Kunbis, Kumbis 
(Kurmis) or Kudumbis, the agricultural class to which 
Sivaji, the great Maratha chieftain belonged who with his 
Kudumbis of Kudumba or Kurumba extraction effected such 
a change in the political aspect of India, some two hundred 
years ago. The sentence in the text of Buchanan leaves it 
doubtful, whether he referred to the Cunabis as an ethno- 
logical or professional distinction. Not all, perhaps not even 
the majority of the Okkaligas of Mysore are of Kurumba 
origin. With the exception of the abovementioned Ganga- 
dikaras and the Nonaba Okkaligas, the others appear to have 
been later settlers in Mysore. Their name implies only an 
occupation, but it is a remarkable fact that many Okkaligas, 
who do not cultivate the soil are engaged in similar pursuits 
such as the Kurumbas embrace. Both tribes for instance 
have a predilection for a military life, and, what is more sug- 
gestive still, both commimities are under the same Gurus, or 
spiritual superiors, the chief of whom resides at Kadgundi in 

Their dead are buried, the corpse being placed sideways with the head to 
the west. A widow may he remarried to a relative of the deceased husband, 
but not to a stranger . . Of the Mysore and Nilgiri Kurumbas it is said that 
they eat the flesh of the cow, but those in Coorg abhor it." 

The EcT. G. Eichter is, according to my opinion (seep. 217), mistaken 
in his tribal distinction between the Kurumbas and the Kurubas. 


Bara-mahal. The Piijari of the Betta Kurumbas in Kurg 
is also an Okkaliga. The last Census Report fixes their 
number at 711,622 souls. The Mysore Okkaligas have some 
peculiar customs, not the least extraordinary among them 
being that which prevails among the women of the Morasa 
Okkaligas, who cut off the ring and little fingers of their right 
hand, before they celebrate the marriage of their eldest 

The shepherds are known as Kurmnha Idaiyas, Kurumba 
Gollas, occasionally also as Kuri Kurumbas and even as 
Sands Kvrumbas. Others keep pigs, this do the widely- 
spread Handi-Kurvmbas, who must not be confounded with 
the Hande Kurumbas ; the Pal or Hal Kurumbas sell milk ; the 
Kainlali Kurumbas weave and sell woollen blankets, which 
they themselves wear in a peculiar fashion ; and the Cunndmbu 
Kurumbas prepare and sell lime. The Kurumba Vedas or 
hunting Kurumbas are well known in the Tamil country,'!" 
while the Ane Kurumbas seem to have obtained their name 
from their cleverness in way-laying and hunting elephants. 
The KaUa-Kurumbas lived not so long ago an easy life as 
thieves and robbers. Most likely they formed part of the 
warrior class and took to marauding in times of peace for 
want of other occupation, and in order to support them- 

"» See Dr. Buchanan's Travels, vol. I, pp. 180, 181 : " The fluddi are 
one of the tribes of Sudra caste, which being much employed in agriculture 
are called Woculigaru in the language of Karnata, and Cunabi in that of the 
Decany Mussulmans. . . They are divided into two sects by a difierence of 
religion; one party worshipping Vishmi, and the other Siva; but this does 
not prevent intermarriages. Those who worship Siva are followers of a kind 
of Jaiigama-< ; but do not wear the Linga. The people with whom I con- 
versed seemed to consider them as the same with the Jangamas of the 
Pancham Banijigas, but this caste informed me, that they were distinct, and 
that the Gurus of the Rtiddi were the same with those of the Curubaru, 
whose chief resides at Cangundy in the Bara-mahal." Compare Mr. L. 
Eice's Mysore and Coorg, vol. I, pp. 337, 338, 340, vol. Ill, pp 208, 209, also 
the Ethnological Compendium of the Rev. G. Richter, p. 13, and pp. 260-264. 

"" See Mackenzie Collection, No. 11, CM. 765, Sect., new copy, vol. Ill, 
p. 298, where the Anda, Idaiya, Kamtali, Cunndmbu and Veda-Kurumbas are 
mentioned, and also No. 14, CM. 768, Section VII. 


selves. The oiroumstances, however, are now changed, and 
the Kallas in Pudukota are no longer the dread of their 

Among the Kurumbas of the Mandayam Taluk are found 
the following nine divisions : the Pal, Hande, Mullu, Kambali, 
Sdda, Javndii, Somavdra, Bestvdra and Adifyavdra Kurumhas. 
These last three designations appear like nick-names, for 
they are peculiarly enough names of days of the week. 

Besides these there are mentioned the Kurumbas, whose 
name Buchanan connects with koUi, fire, but whom others 
call Kdli-Kurubas or Kalle-Kurubas- after the Goddess Kali. 
The JYelli Kurumbas (?) ; the Asil Kurumbas (? from asal, 
pure) ; the Koti Kurumbas (? perhaps from koti, monkey) ; 
the Sdmanta Kurumbas (? connected with the Sanskrit word 
sdmanta in the meaning of chief) ; the Murhindina Kurumbas 
(? of three groups), whose name reminds one of the Mund- 
padi and Yelpadi sections of the Betta Kurumbas in Kurg, 
who belong to three or to seven hamlets, according to Rev. 
Gr. Erichter's Compendium, p. 13. It is very doubtful whether 
the Pania Kurumbas, who inhabit the Nilagiri mountains 
and whom Eev. F. Metz counts among the Kurumbas, 
should be regarded as Kurumbas. The other Kurumbas do 
not treat them at all like relations ; nor do they, and this is 
a point of importance, inspire the other native tribes with 
that superstitious fear, which renders the Mullu and Ndyaka 
Kurumhas so terrible. They also do not resemble the other 
Kurumbas in their outward appearance. Their abject 
state of servitude (hence their name pania, from pani, work) 
would not absolutely militate against their being Kurumbas, 
though these people have generally contrived to maintain a 
certain amount of freedom, for the Curumbalun or Catalun 
of the Kuxumbaranadu in Malabar were, according to Dr. 
Buchanan's description, held in slavery.'" 

The Kurumbas are said to belong to the Havyaka Grotra, 

1" See note 105 on pp. 225, 226. 


and to the Renuka or Bevam Sutra. According to legendary 
report the Kurumbas form the offspring of the family of 
Unne, this being a tadbhavam of iTrnS, sheep-wool. Their 
connection with the sheep is traced to a curse of the 
celestial buffoon Bhrhgi, who, being dissatisfied with the Pra- 
mathas, the attendants of Siva, is said to have cursed and 
turned them into sheep ; saying : 

Pramatha Bhrngi&apena kavayo'pyavayo'hhavan. 

This curse was eventually removed by fi.enuk:aradhya or 
Revanasiddha, an incarnation of a servant of Siva, and the 
high-priest of the Lingayats. 

Some of the Kurumba hill-tribes have been reduced by 
the hard life they lead to a dwarfish and monkey -like ap- 
pearance, but that this exterior is to a great degree due to 
these unfavorable circumstances and that it improves under 
better conditions is exemplified by the following statement 
of Dr. Shortt : " Whilst the appearance of this tribe is so 
" uncouth and forbidding in their own forest glens, they are 
" open to wonderful improvement by regular work, exercisCj 
" and food ; of this ample evidence is to be seen at the Gov- 
" ernment Chinchona Plantations at Neddiwuttum, where a 
" gang of Kurumbas, comprising some twenty individuals, 
" are employed as laborers, receiving their wages in grain 
" for the most part. They appear to give saliisfaction to their 
" employers, and in their general appearance they cannot 
" be recognized from other natives, except perhaps by that 
" peculiar physiognomy characteristic to the tribe and their 
" somewhat slight conformation and dwarfed stature. They 
" have not the pot-belly, do not gape, nor is the dribbling 
" saliva or blood -shot eyes, common to their brethren of the 
" jungles to be found among them." ^'^ 

"^ Read Dr. Shortt's The Sill Ranges of Southern Inrlia, Part I, pp. 52, .53. 
Compare also Mr.W. F. Sinclair's ' Remark' in the Indian Antiquary (1877), 
vol. VI, p. 230 : " In the Kaladgi district the Shepherd caste are called 
Kurubhars.. ., What ia the meaning and derivation of Eurubhar, and is it 


On their rkligion, manners and customs. 

According to the most trustworthy native authorities, the 
Kitrumbas had originally no special god, nor idols, nor any 
peculiar religious belief of their own. This state of things 
was eventually changed with the rise of proselytizing reli- 
gions, such as Buddhism, Jainism, and with the desire of the 
majority to conform to Hindu or Brahmanic customs. 

Their earliest objects of religious worship, however, appear 
to have been rough rounded stones, which somehow inspired 
them with a belief as representing the great superhuman 
powers. The weird aspect of the imposing immovable stone- 
hills, which braved the strongest storms amidst ton-ents of 
rain and flashes of lightning impressed most probably these 
children of nature to such an extent, that mountains, rocks 
and even smaller pieces of stones appeared to them the most 
appropriate representation of the deity. It may be perhaps 
added, that such kind of material is most easily set up and 
does not require any art to adjust it. This stone-worship 
has survived among the Kurumbas to the present day. A 
stone to which worship is paid stands often in caves or in 
the middle of circles, likewise formed of stone^ but it 
must not be regarded as a Linga. The stone circle with 
its centre-piece is known among natives as a Kurumha Kocil 
or temple of the Kurumbas. This stone is in the Nilagiri 
district remembered as the Hiriadeva or Great God. The 
Kurumbas of the Nilagiris offer presents of plantains to the 
I'ujari of the Malesvara idol on a high cliff which overlooks 
the Bhavani valley, while those of Malabar worship simi- 
larly their hill god Malayadeva.''^ Occasionally we meet with 
a stone-block under a tree, which is revered as Gurunatha. 

the same word as Kurambd, the name of Nilgiri hill-tribe P The latter, I 
believe, is a race of dwarfs ; the shepherds here are a fine breed of men ; 
yet the difference can hardly be greater than that which exists among the 

"'See pp. 225 n. 105, 229 n. 116, Breeks' Tribes, pp. 52 and 55, and 
Dr. Buchanan's Travels, vol. II, p. 155. 


The meaning of the name of this village god has hitherto 
defied identification, but is, I believe, now pretty clear. I 
think that Guru stands for Kuru, the original form of 
Kuruva or Kurumba, and that Grurunatha in Telugu Guru- 
ndthndu is in reality identical with the god of the Kurus or 

As the bulk of the Kurumbas are shepherds or Kuri- 
hirumbas and as their property is represented by the flocks 
of sheep they possess, their god is often called the Lord or 
King of the Sheep Hill or Eiiri-betta-rai/a.^^* 

Like other nations the Kurumbas also have repeatedly 
changed their religion, and very many different beliefs are 
prevalent among them. At an early age a considerable 
fraction of the Kurumbas adopted the Jaina faith and became 
eventually bigoted adherents of this sect. It seems in fact 
that their fanatical efforts to spread and to ensure the 
general adoption of this religion have been among the chief 
causes of the collapse of their power in the central districts 
of the Madras Presidency, i.e., in the country round 
KancTpuram. The campaign of Adonda Cola was specially 
undertaken to crush the threatening supremacy of Jainism, 
and the religious element played in it as important a part 
as the politioal.i" The ascendancy of Saivism was the most 
important result of the war, but Jainism is by no means 
extinct among the Kurumbas. The Lingayats claim also 
a considerable number of adherents, and Renukdrddhya or 
Memm Siddhehara is their high priest in certain parts of 
Mysore, ii'' Eenukaradhya is said to have chosen in Srisaila 
the Kurumba leader Padmarasa (from Padnia and Arasu, 

'" About Gunmdtha see p. 200, and consult pp. •/25 n. 105, 226 n. 106, 
and 229 n. 107, where the Rev. F. Metz's Kimlattarayn, Mr. Breeks' 
Kurihaltrdya, and Dr. F. Buchanan's " temple of Bira which is situated on 
Curi-betta, or the Sheep Hill" are mentioned. 

"5 See a petition of the Jaina of Kumbakonam, Cittur, Vrddhacalam and 
other places who complained about their losing their temples through Kulot- 
tunga Cola and Adonda Cola. 

"» Rsvanasiddha or Keijukaradhya is said to have resided on the Kailasa 


king) or Padmanna as his disciple and alienated him from 
Jainism. Siva is revered under various forms, most frequently 
as Bhairava, but also as Virabhadra, and the temple of the 
god ^Blra on Curiietta' is most probably his shrine."' 
EJuruppa I take to be Irulappan, the god of darkness ; 
Barama Dem is perhaps Brahma if not ParameSvara ;"* Dur- 
gawa, Yacani ( Fafesawe or more correctly Yaksini), Mayava 
(Mayava) and Mumi (?) are mentioned as the deities revered 
by the Kurumbas ; and Durga, Mayava and Musni are wor- 
shipped as the wives of Siva. In Kurg the monster Kuttadam- 
ma or KarinMU (black Kali) is revered by the Kufumbas."^ 

It seems that Sakti, as well as Bhuta or demon- worship 
exists in some Kujumba commimities, though the authorities 
do not agree with respect to the Bhutacult.^^" 

Rama is not adored by the Kurumbas, and Dharmardja, 
the favorite deity of the Pallis and other Dravidian races, 
shares the same fate, which fact must be regarded as very 

The Mackenzie Collection contains an interesting descrip- 
tion of the manner in which Virabhadra is worshipped by the 
Idaiya Kurumbas who belong to the Tadava race.'^^ Vira- 
bhadra is generally regarded as an Avatara of Siva, who, 
according to the Visnupurana, proceeded from the mouth 
of Siva to spoil the sacrifice of Daksa, and who is described 
as " a divine being with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, 

1" See p. 225 n. 105, and Dr. Buchanan's Travels, vol. I, pp. 275, 312, 
389 ; vol. II, pp. 435, 436. 

"8 See pp. 224, 225 n. 105, and Dr. Buchanan's Travels, vol. I, p. 381 ; 

vol. II, p. 436. 

119 See pp. 225 n. 105, 230 n. 108, and Dr. Buchanan's Travels, vol. 
II p. 436, and Rev. d. Eichter's Ethnographical Compendium, p. 13. 

"» See pp. 225 n. 105, 230 n. 108, and Dr. Buchanan's Travels, vol. I, 
p. 271 ; vol. II, p. 381, and Eev. G. Eichter's Ethnogr. Compend., p. 13. 

121 See p. 222 n. 105, and Dr. Buchanan's Travels, vol. I, p. 276. 

"2 See Mackenzie Collection, No. 9, CM. 763, XII, in the new copy, 
vol. IV, pp. 76, ff., and Eev. W. Taylor's Catalogue Raismne, vol. Ill, pp. 
368, 369. 



a thousand feet ; wielding a thousand clubs, a thousand shafts, 
holding the shell, the discus, the mace, and bearing a blazing 
bow and battle-axe." i^' It is now, I believe, impossible to 
decide whether the Virabhadra of the Kurumbas represents 
a national, or is a Hindu divinity. According to our MS. 
the Kurilmbas have no national worship, but revere only one 
deity whom they call Vira, Viralu, or Virabhadra. His feast 
is celebrated once a year, on new moon day of the Tamil 
month Tai, or about January. The idol is kept shut up in a 
box in a special room during the whole remaining time of the 
year. On the anniversary of the festival the box is reverently 
opened and the idol, which is made of brass, is taken out of it. 
The image is about a span long, and is placed in an upright 
position on a cloth spread over the floor, after it has been 
thoroughly cleaned with tamarind juice and weU. washed. 
The figure of the idol is then dressed in clothes, and 
flowers are placed on its head. Incense is burnt in front of 
it. Some raw rice is then cooked with milk and water in 
a new earthen pot, and presented to the idol on a plantain 
leaf. Plantains, betel-leaf and nuts, are besides offered, and 
cocoanuts are broken in its honor. After the ceremony 
is overj the idol is carried back to its usual place, and the 
people sit down to their meals. The feast lasts three con- 
secutive days, but eight days before its commencement the 
worshippers take an oil bath, abstain from all sensual enjoy- 
ments, prepare their food in clean unprofaned vessels, do 
not eat flesh but bathe daily. He who has observed all the 
prescriptions most conscientiously, is placed in front of the 
idol, and the cocoanuts are broken on his head. The man 
who breaks the cocoanut, keeps it. If the man's head 
begins to bleed by the breaking of the cocoanuts, he is 
■suspected of having committed some offence, and thus to 
have incurred pollution. He must bathe again, and the trial 
with the cocoanuts is repeated a second time. If his head 

'=3 See H. H. Wason's Tishnu Piirana, vol. I, pp. 128-132. 


should begin to bleed again, he is finally rejected as impure. 
Whoever passes the test, becomes the Pujdri for the time 
being. After this ceremony the Kurumbas dance together, 
beat drums and blow trumpets. 

At the great festivals in Pudukota the Kurumbas per- 
form a similar ceremony in the presence of the Maharaja, 
when the image of Vlralaksml is carried in procession and 

Some Kurumbas believe in a life after death, while others 
deny a future existence. They differ also in their way of 
disposing of their dead ; some burn, others bury the corpses. 
The good, according to some, become after their death, 
benevolent spirits, while the bad assume the shape of evil 
spirits ; and those who die unmarried become Virikas. But 
it seems that even the spirits of the good require some 
stimulant to keep them quiet, and unless they are appeased 
by liquor, in their anger they inflict various diseases. Some 
bum the good but bury the bad, as the spirits of the latter 
thus confined in the ground cannot escape and make mis- 
chief, i^* 

The Kurumbas have the peculiar habit, already noticed 
when speaking of the Kaurs,^^' of shaving their heads entirely 
when they have to attend a funeral of any of their community. 
This custom of the Kurumbas was once the cause of a great 
calamity. 1^^ The Kurumbas had made themselves extremely 
unpopular by their intolerance. During the reign of the 
Kajas of Vijayanagara the Kurumba Idaiyas were powerful 
in several other places, especially in Nerumpur, Salapakkam 
and other similar strongholds. The Kurumbas, either actuated 
by religious zeal or wishing to annoy their dependents, tried 

"*See pp. 222 n. 105, 223 n. 105, 225 n. 105, 226 n. 105, and Dr. 
Buotanan's Trmels, vol. I, pp. 275, 380, 381 ; vol. II, pp. 155. 

125 See p. 210. 

126 See Mackenzie Collection, No. II ; CM. 765, VII ; compare Eev. W. 
Taylor's Catalogue, vol. Ill, pp. 399-400. 


to force the Mudalis and Vellalas to pay homage to them by 
bowing their heads respectfully to them. But these two 
classes refusing to do it, the Kuiumbas in revenge ill-treated 
and oppressed them in all sorts of ways. They constructed 
for this purpose very low entrances at the various places 
where the Mudalis and Vellalas had to pass through gates, 
and they thought that they would thus compel these men to 
lower their heads when going through these entrances, and 
extract from them in this manner a certain amount of invo- 
luntary homage. But the Mudalis and Vellalas of Nerumpur 
were quite equal to the occasion, and instead of bowing their 
heads, they scrambled through with their legs foremost, so 
that they added injury to insult ; and the Kurumbas became 
only more exacting. At last the Vellalas could stand this 
treatment no longer and determined to get rid of their 
oppressors. For this purpose they had recourse to a leading 
barber, whom they induced by liberal promises of gifts of 
land to devise a scheme to help them, and this man persuaded 
his fellow-barbers to kill the Kurumbas when an opportunity 
occurred. He founded his plot on the above-mentioned 
custom, according to which all the Kurumbas who attend a 
funeral shave their heads. About this time a prominent 
personage among the Kurumbas died, and the Mudalis 
and Vellalas availed themselves of this opportunity to instruct 
the head barber to issue orders to his caste-people to kill the 
Kuiumbas while they were being shaved. As the shaving 
was performed pretty simultaneously, each barber cut the 
throat of his Kurumba customer, and all the Kurumbas of 
Nerumpur were thus massacred. As soon as the tidings of 
the murder of their husbands reached the Kurumba women, 
they determined not to survive them, and burnt themselves 
with the corpses of their consorts. The dying widows uttered 
the curse that Nerumpur should never again produce enough 
grain to buy salt, even if three crops of grain were reaped 
every year. The fortification and irrigation works of the 
Kurumbas have fallen into ruins since then, and only the 


earth-mounds and old brick wells near Sadras betray the 
existence of an ancient town. 

Their marriage customs differ also considerably. Origi- 
nally they did not perform any ceremonies at their marriages, 
but later on, the majority adopted Jaina or Hindu rites. A 
manuscript in the Mackenzie Collection contains the following 
description which, however, resembles the common Hindu 
marriage customs. ^^' The bride and the bridegroom are 
anointed with oil, and dress themselves after their bath in new 
clothes. The bride sits in the pandal on the left and the 
bridegroom on the right. Both are adorned with flowers and 
have golden tinsel (hhdsikani) on their foreheads. A shoot of 
the Pippal or Holy Figtree (Aram, ■s/jtst') is fixed between the 
two inner posts of the pandal, in which the ceremonies are per- 
formed and the people walk round those posts. The marriage 
is attended by the headman and all relatives. The former 
when approaching the betrothed couple breaks a cocoanut, 
and places the Tali which is fastened to a golden string, 
in the upper cup. This is handed round to ten or more 
relatives, who shout mangali, mangali. Eventually the bride- 
groom, who receives the Tali, at last fastens it round the 
neck of the bride, uttering the name of Oovinda. The nearest 
relatives now with crossed hands pour saffron-colored raw 
rice on the heads of the young pair : this ceremony is called 
Cesai {Qs^saei^), in Telugu Sesa ("^-ii).^^* After this the 
couple prostrate themselves at the feet of their elders and sit 
down in their midst. Betel leaves and nuts are then handed 
round, and the eating and drinking commences. After the 
distribution of garlands, the Kankana is tied on the right wrists 
of the happy pair. The Cesai ceremony is repeated during the 
two following days, while the bride and bridegroom occupy 
their former seats ; after that the guests are liberally enter- 
tained. On the fourth and fifth days pepperwater (milaku- 
tanni) and rice are served out. On the latter day the bride 

1" See Mackenzie Collection, new copy, vol. IV, p. 78. 
«8 From the Sanskrit ^rsa, head. 


is taken to her mother's house, where cakes are dlstrihuted 
and a sumptuous meal is provided for all relatives and friends. 
Two men are then despatched from the house of the bride- 
groom to that of the bride, where they are welcomed as the 
escort of the young pair to the bridegroom's house, and re- 
ceive on starting with them a bundle containing eleven 
rice-cakes and a lot of jaggery. 

Many peculiar customs prevail among the Kurumba 
women, some of which they share with other castes. They 
generally take assafoetida after childbirth and bathe on the 
fifth day.'^^ Adultery is generally leniently punished and 
condoned vnth a fine. This is as a rule spent on an enter- 
tainment, after which the woman is readmitted into society. 

The Tali is not removed from the neck of a widow, imless 
she desires to remarry. In this case the marriage-tie is 
returned to the family of her former husband, and she wears 
that given by her new husband. A widow may remarry as 
often as she likes. 

On our historical knowledge about the Kiirumbas. 

We are very insufficiently informed about the early his- 
tory of the Kurumbas. Before they settled down to any- 
thing like domestic hfe, they roamed as Vedas in the virgiQ 
forests hunting the deer for its fiesh and the wUd animals for 
their own safety. In some places the traces of an ancient 
Kurumba occupation are not yet effaced. The Eev. F. Metz 
writes respecting their settlement on the Nllagiri mountains- 
as follows : " There are strong grounds for supposing that 
" the Kurumbas once occupied and cultivated the plateau of 
" the hills, and were driven thence by the Todas into the 
" unhealthy localities which they now inhabit, on the pretext 
" of their beiag a race of sorcerers whose presence was a bane 
" to the happiness of the other hill- tribes. Several spots near 

l» See Mackenzie Manuscripts, No, 14, CM. 768. The Tamil for- 
assafoetida is QuQ^iksirujih Perunkayam. 


" the Badaga villages bear the name of ' Motta ' to this day, 
" and traces of houses are still visible ; and in one place a 
" stone enclosure for buffaloes is to be seen, which, as I gather 
" from an old piece of Badaga poetry formerly belonged to a 
" rich Kurumba, who was murdered by the Todas, at the insti- 
" gation of the Badagas . . . The Todas and Badagas say 
" that the Kurumbas are the enemies of their peace, and that 
" they cannot live without killing them. Some years ago 
" I discovered the site of a former Kurumba town, of the 
" existence of which I was well aware, but which I had never 
" been able to trace out. It is in the heart of a dense forest, 
" totally unfrequented by the natives and probably never 
" penetrated by any European." i'" 

The Mackenzie Collection contains about the Kurumbas 
of the Tamil districts some interesting information. From 
one manuscript (No. 14 CM., 768) I extract the following 
account : 

" The country of Tondamandalam was after the deluge 
totally covered with forest and was infested with wild beasts. 
A people of wild hunters, known as Vedas, roamed about in 
the woods. They lived in huts which they had erected after 
clearing the country. Their place of settlement is still 
called Vedar Pdlayam. No kings ruled over them, and they 
did just what they pleased. Besides their huts, they had no 
places in which they could protect themselves. They were 
guided neither by social nor reKgious rules, nor had they any 
books. In fact they were merely a lot of naked savages, 
who did not observe any ceremonies even at their marriages. 
They killed the wild beasts of the forests and lived on their 

" The Kurumbas of the Karnata country had meanwhile 
risen to prominence, and, after their numbers had increased, 
began to tyrannize over the other inhabitants. The Kurumbas 
had very barbarous and cruel habits, and deserved to be 

"0 See Kov. F. Metz' Triies inhabiting the Neilgherry Mills, pp. 122, 123. 


called Kurumbas. (This is an allusion to the meaning of 
O^LDL/, Kurumpu, or © jKiiqA/^sBr'i, Kurumputtanam, savage- 
ness, stubbornness, insolence, wickedness. It is, however, 
derived from the national name of the Kurumbas, and not 
vice versa.) In course of time they extended their dominion 
to the very border of Tondamandalam, and a few Kurumbas 
settled in Salapakkam near Uttaramallur, where their descen- 
dants are still known as Kurumbas. Before they had any 
king, they roved about unrestrained like wild hunters in the 
forests, till, when dissensions and quarrels had arisen among 
them, Kamanda Prabhu restored peace and quiet. He con- 
vinced them that it would be to their advantage to elect a 
king and they followed his advice. As he was a wise and 
popular man, he himself was chosen king, and henceforward 
he was known as Kamanda Kurumba Prabhu, the ruler of 
the Dravida country and Eaja of Pulal. The kingdom was 
called Kurumhabhumi, the land of the Kurumbas, and this 
name was entered in all the official documents. He built a 
fort at the town of Pulal, its walls were constructed of bell- 
metal, and its strength and grandeur defied description. 
His rule extended over a vast territory, and as several of his 
subjects betrayed occasionally an inclination to rebel against 
him, he subdivided his reakn into 24 districts, in each of 
which he erected a stronghold and appointed a governor. 
The fort of Pulal was his own capital. The following are 
the names of some of these fortified places : PTolalkottai, 
Amurkottai, Kalatturkottai, Puliyurkottai, Cempurkottai, 
TJrrukattukottai, Venkunakottaij tkkattukottai and Patuvur- 

"' The late F. W. Ellis gives in his classical article on the Mirasi ques- 
tions all the 24 names, besides the ahove named are further mentioned : 
Manavurkottai, Cenkattukottai, Paiyurkottai, EyirkOttai, Tamarko^tai, 
Palkunrakottai, IlafikftttukOttai, Kaliyurkottai, Cirukaraikottai, Katikai- 
kottai, Cantirikaikottai, KuurapattirakSttai, VgnkatakOttai and Vslurkottai. 
— Mr. Ellis obtained the list from the JilanaprakaSa Matam. Compare the 
Papers on Mirasi Sight, Madras, 1862, pp. 235-241. 

See also Abbe Dubois' Description of the People of India, second edition 
p. 342, and Jlr. J. H, Nelson's Mnmioil oj Madura, Part II, pp. 64, 65, 


" While Kamanda Prabhu ruled, the various tribes in 
the country submitted to his rule, and the people could 
quietly follow their various avocations. Some engaged in 
trade, others in husbandry, and so on, according to their 
special inclinations, though the majority devoted themselves 
to sheep-tending, wooUen blanket-weaving and lime-selling. 
They even ventured at that time to engage in shipping 
trade, and some Cetti merchants from Kaveripattanam settled 
in the Kurumba country. Stimulated by them the Kurum- 
bas soon developed a taste and an aptitude for commerce, 
and in order to facilitate mercantile transactions, they built 
in course of time strongholds at Pattipulam, Salakuppam, 
Salapakkam, Meyyur, Kadalur, Alamparai, Marakkanam, 
&o. The Kurumbas and Oettis of Kaveripattanam occupied 
these fortified ports, and as they were successful in their 
speculations, amassed great wealth and became influential. 

"As already intimated the Kurumbas had no special 
religion of their own, and a Jaina priest who visited their 
country, was able to convert the greater portion of the people 
to Jainism. The Jaina basti which the king of Pulal erected 
in honour of that priest, remains up to this day a monument 
of this conversion. Besides this building, a few other bastis 
are still existing, though in a very dilapidated condition. 
Jaina sculptures are now occasionally found in the rice-fields ; 
they are, however, either destroyed or reburied in the 
ground by Brahmans and other religious enemies of the 
Jains. Many Kurumbas resemble in their present manners 
and customs the Jains of former times, and they do so 
especially in their marriage ceremonies. 

" While the Kurumbas ruled over the land, their more 
civilized neighbours often attacked them, but were generally 
defeated. The Cola and Pandya kings made thus repeated 
inroads into the Kurumba territory ; but their attempts to 
subdue their fierce foes were in vain, as they did not mind to 
sacrifice their lives on the battle-field. Some of these royal 
aggressors were at times captured and chained in fetters to 



the fort-gate of Pulal. These continual successes, however, 
turned the head of the Kurumbas and made them over- 
bearing, so that they began to annoy and ill-treat those of 
their subjects who belonged to rival tribes, or had embraced 
other religious beliefs. They endeavoured in fact to force 
the Jain religion on all, and created great dissatisfaction 
by their religious intolerance. Yet no one rose who could 
oppose them effectually. 

" At last Adonda Cola, a brave, wise and popular prince, 
marched against the Kurumbas and invested their capital 
Pulal with a large army. He began this campaign as he 
could no longer endure the tyranny and mal-administration 
of the Kurumba king and resolved to defeat him at any 
risk, in order to alleviate the sufferings of the people. The 
Kurumba king on his side was not wanting in bravery, and 
went to face the enemy. Both sides fought valiantly, at 
last three-fourths of the army of Adonda Cola were put to 
the sword, and unable to resist longer, he fled from the 
battle-field and took refuge with a few remaining followers 
in a place not far distant from the fort. This locality is 
still known as Colanpedu. He then made up his mind to 
retreat on the nest morning to his country Tanjore. But at 
night Siva appeared to him in a dream and said : " After 
ascending to-morrow morning your elephant, on your way to 
the battle, you will find that his legs are entangled ia a 
jasmine-creeper (Mullai), and when you try to cut it away 
with your sword, blood will ooze out of it, and on closer 
examination you will discover there a Linga." Encouraged 
by his dream, he went to the battle-field, and, after ascending 
his elephant, saw that the legs of the animal were caught in 
a jasmine bush and that blood oozed out from the spot where 
he tried to out it.'^^ This sign confirmed his resolution to 

'32 Compare Tondala satakam, p. 4, SI. 9 : " When Tondaman was driven 
from the battle-field, his elephant was prevented from moving by a jasmine- 
creeper. Afterwards he fought again and became victorious." A descriptiou 
of this fact is given in a work called TirunMllaivdyalpatikam. 


attack his fierce enemies, and he secured a complete victory 
over them. Adonda Cola captured the Kurumba king and 
put him to death. Pulal, the chief town and fort of the 
Kurumbas, was taken, and its brass doors were placed in the 
inner portion (garbhagrha) of the temple of Tanjore. A 
pillar made of Arka ( Calatropis gigantea) wood that had been 
removed from the Tanjore temple, was placed in the interior 
of a temple and erected at the spot where the Sivalinga had 
been found. This temple was called Tiru-mullai-mial, after 
the jasmine-creeper which had covered the legs of the ele- 
phant. The part of the Linga where the sword of Adonda 
had touched it looked like a wound, and is therefore covered 
with camphor to conceal the sore. 

" The remaining twenty-three forts were then taken, and 

their governors with their retinues were also killed. Adonda 

Cola appointed Vellala chiefs instead of the Kurumbas. As 

he observed that the country was very thinly populated, he 

invited Vellalas from different districts and induced them 

to settle in the newly- acquired territory, by granting them 

freehold land and conferring on them other favours. The 

Vellalas who accepted the offer were the Tuluva, Coliya and 

Kondaikatti Vellalas. The first two were called after the 

district they came from, the Tuluva Vellalas emigrated from 

the Tuluva-Nadu in Kanara and the Coliya Vellalas from 

the C5lanadu. The Kondaikatti Vellalas were so called, 

from binding their hair in a tuft on the top of their head 

instead of leaving a small lock (Kudumi). With these 

Vellalas together came the Eanakka-Pillaikal or accountants. 

" Adonda Cola ruled the land with justice and in peace, 

and was henceforth known as Adonda Cola Cakravarti or as 

Tondaman Cakravarti. The country which had hitherto 

been caUed Kurumbabhumi was now named Tondaman- 


In order to ascertain what was left of Pidal, I lately 
visited the place and its neighbourhood. It lies about 8 miles 
north-west of Madras, to the east of the big lake, known as 


the Eed- Hills Tank. The place where the old fort of Pulal 
stood is still remembered and pointed out by the people. 
However, the outlines of the outer and inner mud walls are 
now only visible, within the latter is a tank. These walls 
must have encircled once a fort of considerable extent, of 
which nothing however remains. Hj'der Ali on his march 
to Madras encamped here. Pulal is also called Vana Pulal, 
and near it is situated a small hamlet Mddhavaram. 

About a mile to the north-east Hes the present village 
Pulal, in which I found three temples. A small Jaina basti 
dedicated to Aditirtliankara, though in a decayed condition, is 
stiU used for worship, and has the reputation of being old. 
The Vaisnava temple of Earimanikyaperumdl does not ap- 
pear to be ancient, while the erection of the Siva temple is 
ascribed to Adonda Cola. It is dedicated to TrimuJandtha, 
but as a famous sannyasi Sundaramurtisvami worshipped 
there, it is known as the shrine of Sundarewara. It is evi- 
dently pretty old, and, though partly repaired some years 
ago, is in a dilapidated state. It has the appearance of a 
Cola temple, and is covered with inscriptions, those seen 
on the outside being in a bad condition. The temple 
possesses no Sthalapurana, nor any copper Sasanams. The 
name of the goddess is Svarndmbikd. 

Oo the other side of the lake, about six miles towards 
south-west, lies the hamlet Tirumullaivdml or Tirumullai- 
vdyal, which is named after the adventure which befell the 
prince Adonda in his combat against the Kurumbas. A 
temple is erected near the spot where the Linga was 
wounded by the sword of the Cola prince and dedicated to 
Siva as Mdcillamani, which is a Tamil translation of the 
Sanskrit Nirmalamaxti, meaning ' spotless jewel.' On one of 
the stone columns of the mantapam in front of the Gopuram 
is carved the figure of Adonda sitting on an elephant in the 
act of cutting with his sword the jasmine-creeper from the 
leg of the elephant. The similarity in the sound of mullai, 
jasmine, and )nala, stain, raises a suspicion against the 


genuineness of this legend. The temple is in good preserva- 
tion. Two so-called Axka-pillars (not one as the manuscript 
just quoted states) are covered with a heam, and form with 
the two side walls the support of the Ardhamantapam, which 
communicates on the western side by a door in the common 
wall with the Garbhagrha behind. Between, but behind the 
two Arka-pillars, is situated in the Garbhagrha the holy 
Linga, which on account of its wouiid is covered with sandal- 
wood-powder and other cooling ingredients. The local 
legend contends that Adonda brought the two brownish- 
looking Arka-pillars, together with a bell, and a bronze 
door from the fort of Pulal. This gateway, however, has 
since disappeared. Colanpedu lies close to TirumullaivaSal. 

In order to assist Adonda in his fight against the 
Kurumbas, Siva sent his attendant Nandi, and in confirma- 
tion of this fact the Nandi at Tirumullaivasal faces the 
east, instead of being turned towards the idol, i.e., towards 
the west. The consort of Macillamani is called Kodi idai 
Ndyaki. The temple has a Sthalapurana, its first part, 
which was only lent to me, does not contain, any allusion to 
Adonda. I have been told that there are no Tamra SaSa- 
nams to throw light on the erection of the temple. Not 
far from this temple towards the south stands an enormous 
image, constructed of brick and mortar representing 
Mannarsvami, accompanied by the seven Sages. 

A young Brahman D. Eaghavayya accompanied me and 
obtained some valuable information as I was not permitted 
to enter the temple, and I do not know whether it contains 
any important inscriptions. It may be well worth while to 
examine carefully the temples at Pulal and Tirumullaivasal 
in order to ascertain whether they possess any account about 
Adonda Cakravarti, though I have been told that there is 
none. The battle between the Colas and the Kurumbas was 
fought somewhere between those two places. 

The origin of the word Tondamandalam is doubtful, and 
difierent explanations are given of it. The most widely- 


spread legend connects the name with the prince Adonda 
Cola. As the destruction of the Knrumbas is attributed to 
this popular hero, an account of his origin will not be out 
of place here. The following story is found in several MSS. 
of the Mackenzie Collection : '^^ 

" In Colamandalam ruled 44 descendants of the ancient 
Cola Eajas. The last was Kulottunga Cola, who had by his 
queen two children, a daughter and a son. Kulottunga Cola 
killed the sou of the poet Kamban, and Kamban killed in 
revenge the son of the king. At the royal entertainments of 
the court there was dancing for some time a beautiful girl 
Ndkinagaratna with whom the king fell in love. But as 
Kulottiuiga felt that he would lose the esteem of the people if 
he allowed his passion to transgress public decency, he kept 
his affection a great secret and used a servant girl TJmapati 
to arrange meetings between Nakinagaratna and himself. 
In course of time a boy was born, whom TJmapati dressed 
in a silk gown and put in a golden basket with Adonda 
flowers round him. She then placed the basket on the bank 
of the Kaveri, near the spot where the king generally bathed. 
All this was done by the order of the king. When the king 
came afterwards with his Brahmans and courtiers to the 
river they heard a child cry, and, on approaching nearer, 
they saw it and said to the king : ' king, as you forgave 
Kamban who killed your son, God presents to you this 
wonderful child on the bank of the Kaveri. The child 
resembles you, and is worthy to become the ruler of the 

"' In the Tondamandalam Colamcmdalum-Pantiyamantalam, old No. 241 
CM. 66. This work is said to have been compiled by Vedandyahan, a 
Christian poet of Tanjore. See Taylor's Catalogue Eaisonne, vol. Ill, pp. 
41, 42. This work is copied in No. 7, CM., 761, Section III (Taylor, vol. 
Ill, p. 370). A somewhat similar account is contained in No. 14, CM. 
768, Section II; in the new copy in the vol. II, pp. 65-67, and in Taylor, 
vol. Ill, pp. 426, 427 ; and also in No. 15, CM. 769, I., new copy, vol. I, 
p. 125. 

I need not specially point out the inaccuracief contained in this report, for 
they are too evident, as, e.y., the foundation of Ki&a. by KuldttuAga Cola. 


country. As he is adorned with Adonda flowers, we take 
this as a lucky omen and call him ' Adonda Cola.' ' Cir- 
cumstauces favouring so far the designs of the king, he gave 
the child to his wife with the words : ' God has presented 
this child to you near the Kaveri.' The queen accepted it 
and brought it up with much affection. The truth ahout 
the birth of the child was not only known to the king and 
the dancing girl, but also to some extent to his chief minister. 
Meanwhile the child grew up, and displayed much cleverness, 
knowledge and courage. When the king consulted hia 
minister about the marriage and succession of his son, the 
minister pretended to agree with the plans of the king, but 
communicated secretly to the relatives of the king the 
circumstances accompanying the birth of Adonda and the 
intentions of the king concerning the future of his son. 
The consequence was that the royal princes refused to marry 
one of their daughters to a bastard, and to allow his succes- 
sion to the throne as it would throw dishonor on them. 
The minister communicated to Kulottunga the unfavourable 
disposition of the princes. The king, however, did not give 
up his plans, but pondered how he might execute them in 
spite of their objections. At last he fixed on Tondamanda- 
1am as a suitable province to give to Adonda, though it was 
still a wilderness. He explored it, cleared the forest, laid 
the foundation of the capital Kanci, erected there a temple 
and dug a channel for the river Palar. As Kulottunga 
observed how thinly the land was inhabited, he despatched 
his minister with money to other countries to induce people 
to immigrate into the newly-acquired district. The minister 
accordingly returned with many boys and girls of various 
castes, and the king ordered them to be married. This done 
he placed Adonda on the throne at Kanci. Kulottunga 
then asked the minister to propose a suitable name for the 
country. In spite of the high position which Adonda had 
meanwhile secured, the minister still despised him on 


account of his illegitimate birth. He suggested therefore 
that the new territory should he called Tondamandalam (the 
district of slaves) and the king without any suspicion named 
it so."'* Since that time this country has been called Tonda- 
mandalam, and Tondamandalam was thus foimded by Kulot- 
tunga Cola. The name of Kurumbabhumi was then changed 
into Tondamandalam and Adonda Cola was installed as 
Tondamandala Cakravarti. ''^ 

" The legitimate daughter of Kulottunga Cola had mar- 
ried Yaragunapandya, ^'^ the only son of Balacandrapandya. 
After Kulottunga Cola's death, which took place in the 69th 
year of his life, Varagunapandya took Colamandalam and 
Tondamandalam, which had belonged to his father-in-law. 
Afterwards JJbhayakulaUlipdndya, the son of Varagunapandya 
and of the daughter of Kulottunga Cola, ascended the throne 
of Colamandalam, and his descendants reigned over it for 
three centuries. 

" The progeny of Adonda Cola submitted to their fate 
and received some land for their maintenance. 

" Minaketanapandya was the last and eleventh descendant 
of Ubhayakulakilipandya. So long as these kings ruled, no 
enemies were feared. These kings ruled for 2707 years."'" 

"» MS. No. 14, CM. 768, Section II, here inserts a short account of the 
war of Adonija C6la with the Kurumhas, his first defeat and final victory. 
This MS. also calls always Toncjamandalam Tondarmandalam. 

'3' This last remark as well as the other ahoutthe Kurumhas is only found 
in No. li, CM. 768, Section II, which ends with this passage. 

''« Compare the Appendix hy Rev. T. Foulkes to A Manual of the Salem 
District, vol. II, pp. 370, (si. 18), 373, (si. 18), 378, 379. 

The father of Varaguna is generally given as SundareSvarapadaSekhara 
and his son as Baja Eaja, though the chronicles differ in their chronology ; 
see H. H. "Wilson's List of the Pandyan kings in his Historical Sketch in the 
Madras Journal, \ol. VI, (1837), pp. 211, 213; Rev. W. Taylor's Oriental 
Historical Manuscripts, vol. I, pp. 85-90. Ahout Kamhan's life refer to 
F. W. Ellis' replies to Mirasi questions in Papers on Mirdsi Might, p. 292, 
■where S.S. 808 (A.D. 886) is given as the date of his presenting the Tamil 
translation of the Bamftyaija to his patron Rajendxa Cola. Others prefer 
S.S. 807, A.D. 885. 


The Tiruverkdttu Puram says about the origin of the term 
Tondamandalam : " The country was called Dandakanddu 
as it was ruled by Dandaka. Then it was named Tundlra- 
nddu in consequence of the reign of Tundlra. Afterwards 
it was called Tondanadu, as Tondaman, a descendant of the 
solar race who wore a garland of Adonda flowers, governed 
the kingdom."!" 

The late Mr. F. W. Ellis quotes a stanza from the Tiruhka- 
lukkunra-Purdna in which a similar statement is made, the 
difference between the two Puranas being, that the latter 
mentions Tondira as the founder of Tondirana4u before 
Dandaka, the assumed establisher of Dandakanadu.'^* 

The boundaries of Tondamandalam are said to be the 
two Pennai or Pinakini rivers in the north and south, and 
the sea and the Western Ghats up to Tirupati on the east and 
west. Some parts of the Western Ghats also belonged to it. 
Mr. Ellis gives the memorial verses concerning the frontiers 
of this district. The Southern Pennai flows into the sea near 
Gudalur (Cuddalore), while the northern passes through the 
district of Nellur close to Kalahasti, both streams rising near 
the Nandidrug in Mysore. ^'^ 

13' See the following stanza from the Tiruverkdttu Purdnam : — 
^(mQeu/bmirLLQu UJrirmarih. 

QfiiressTL^jsasruitrieo^ QfirrssEn—LDtrt^emQ Q^irssisrL-jBiri—iruj^ 


138 See Papers on Mirdsi Right (Madras, 1862), p. 234 : " Tondlren, the 
chief among the leaders of the demon bands of the three-eyed deity, hafing 
governed it, this country became Tondlranadu ; when it was defended by 
DandacavSnder, it became accordingly Dandaca-nadu ; and when Chflzher of 
the family of the sun, who was Tondeiman adorned by garlands of flowers, 
extended his protection to it, it become Tondei-nadu." Compare also the 
stanza in Bastigirieampu which begins with " Tmdirdkhyam mandalam asti 

■ 139 See Papers on MirasiPight, pp. 229-247 ; on p. 246, Mr. EUis remarks : 
" The whole superficies of Tonda-mandalam, as originally settled by the 



According to the above-mentioned Tiruverkattu Purana 
this country is known also as Palinddu, hecause the Palar 
river flows through it. 

The original meaning of the term Tondamandalam is 
variously explained. According to the first and most popular 
derivation it was so called after the illegitimate Cola prince 
Adonda, who had been exposed on the bank of the Kaveri 
in a basket filled with Adonda or Tonda flowers, which 
in their turn supplied him with his name. A second 
interpretation asserts that the newly-acquired province was 
covered to such an extent with the Bonda oil-creeper, that 
the country was called after it. The third etymology is 
founded on the meaning of Tondan, a slave, a devotee. If 
80, it alludes either to the low birth of Adonda, its illegiti- 
mate first ruler, or to the uncivilised and slavish condition 
of the inhabitants of Tondamandalam. Another possibility 
arises by coimecting Tundh-a, the fabulous ancient king, 
with Tonda. 

The legendary story of the birth of the illegitimate Cola 
prince Adonda is very perplexing. All eircimistancea con- 
sidered, even after his victory he could only have been a 
dependent Viceroy of the Cola king. According to tradition, 
his ofEspring soon lost even this position ; though some inscrip- 
tions appear to make him the ancestor of reigning princes. 
The defeat of the Kurumbas appears to be a historical fact, 
but is sometimes narrated without mentioning Adonda.''"' 
As the latter is said to have introduced Vellalas and Kanaka 

people of ShOzha-mandalam, is measured by 18,302 square miles; of this 
extent the division of the country between the range of the Ghat mountains 
and the sea, lower Tondei, contains 14,028 square miles, and the division to 
the west of the Ghats, upper Tondei, 4,274 : the latter is colored yellow in 
the map." 

Rwid also Mackenzie MS., No. 15, CM. 769, Section I ; in the new 
copy, vol. I, p. 125. This declares Kalahasti as the northern, the river 
Penijai as the southern, the mountain Pa^umalai as the western, and the sea 
as the eastern boundary. 

'«Seep. 251. 


Pillaikal into Tondainandalani, these men could not be 
stigmatised as slaves or tondar. 

The oil-plant, Capparis horrida, which is the Ta.mi\ Adondai 
(commonly pronounced Adandai) or Tondai creeper, is well 
known in Southern India and esteemed for its medicinal 
properties."! It is certainly peculiar that the same plant 
should have given its name to a Tanjorean prince and to a 
northern province which he is said to have governed and 
which was covered with it. 

I rather feel inclined to prefer the legend which connects 
the name vnth the inhabitants of the country, who made on 
the more cultivated southerners the impression of a rude and 
uncouth set of people. The Kurumbas, however, must have 
already attained a considerable degree of civilisation, though 
they looked despicable in the eyes of their enemies. "While 
tondan denotes a slave, tondu signifies feudal service. In 
Palghat the Ilavas are to this day nicknamed Kotti-tondar. 
I think it highly probable that the Kurumbabhumi was 
reduced to a feudal state as Tondamandalam, and that the 
Kurumbas were regarded as Tondar. The minister of Kulot- 
tuhga wanted, as we have seen, to apply the name Tondan 
to Adonda Cola himself."^ 

The subject becomes even more complicated by the Sans- 
krit name of the district DandaMranya, or Bandakanddu in 
Tamil. The southern legend ascribes to this country, as we 

'*• In Tamil ^O^irsrarsu)^ and Q^iremeiSL- ', in Telugu Arudonda 
w^S^oJf. The A of Adojida seems to be therefore a contraction of Aru 
in Arudonda. Aredonda s'BS^oaf is called the Capparis zeylanica. Bonda 
seems to apply to the fruit of the Bryonia or Bimba (0. P. Brown's 
Teluffu Dictionary, pp. 71, 451) ; in Kanarese Tonde or Tonde-kdi is the name 
of the Bryonia grandis. In Dr. J. Forbes Watson's Index to the Native and 
Scientific Names of Indian and other Eastern Economic Plants and Prodnets the 
Capparis horrida is called Adonda, Arudonda in Telugu ; Ardandu, Arduudu in 
Hindustani and Pekkani ; Atanday, Atonday, Atunday in TarniL Eieinus 
communis is called Aranda and Arundi in Hindustani ; and Bryonia grandis 
Donda kaya in Telugu. Tu^diTceri is the Sanskrit name for the cotton plant, 
■which grows in South India in great quantity. 

"' See p. 252. 


have seen, three rulers Dandaka, Tundira and Adonda, who 
conferred in their turn their names on it. This tradition 
seems to rest on a very sUght foundation. Not only do these 
rulers appear in a different sequence, at least so far as Dandaka 
and Tundira are concerned, but their names resemble one 
another to such an extent, that one cannot help suspecting their 
being in reality only variations of the same identical term. 

Danda or Dandaka was the son of the ancient king Iksvaku, 
and was cursed by Sukracarya for carrying off his daughter 
Ahjd. In consequence of this curse the pious hermits left 
the country, and it became an uninhabitable waste land. 
According to ancient accounts Dandakaranya, the forest of 
Danda or Dandaka, was situated between the Narmada and 
G-odavari rivers, but its limits were gradually widened, till 
it stretched all over Southern India. On the other hand the 
province, in whose centre lies the present City of Madras, 
was specially distinguished as Tondamandalam. So far as 
I am informed nothing is known about a Dravidian king 
Dandaka, and this present form of the name suggests a Sans- 
krit origin. I am, however, of opinion that Danda, TundOy 
Tundira are all variations of the same identical word, though 
it is difficult, if not impossible, to decide whether this term 
is of Sanskrit or Gauda-Dravidian source. It is not impro- 
bable that the king Danda and the demon Tunda — peculiarly 
enough Tondira is described as a leader of demon bands — 
are the representatives of an aboriginal population. The 
name of the Tundikeras behind the Vindhyan mountains 
bears some resemblance to Tonda. After Tundira Kanclpuram 
is occasionally called Timdirapvram, a designation which 
would assign its foundation to a remote antiquity. Tondi is 
also the name of a town, and Tondiarpet is a suburb of 
Madras. It is now commonly called Tandiyarpet fia5sns).iijmr- 
Quileat^, as Adondai is in Tamil similarly pronoimced 

'*3 Compare the Sanskrit- Worterbuch von Otto Bohtlingk and Rudolpb 
Both, vol. Ill, pp. 494, 495 under ^^ and ?^^, H. H. Wilson's Vishnn- 


The existence of the Tonda or Donda plant may have led 
to the legend of the illegitimate prince Adon4a being placed 
in a basket filled with Adonda creepers and named after 

The name of the king Danda or Dandaka may thus be 
of Gauda-Dravidian origin. So far as historical evidence 
goes, the term Dandakaranya is prior to that of Tondamanda- 
1am, but both may have sprung from the same source. It is 
further possible that the Kurumbas were nicknamed Tondas. 
Other difficulties arise from the circumstance that the Pallava 
kings exercised authority contemporaneously with the 
Kurumbas in the same country. 

The title of the ruler of Tondamandalam was Tondaman, 
a designation which is still borne by the Raja of Pudukota 
in the Trichinopoly district, as chief of the Kallas. I regard 
these Kallas as the representatives of a portion of the martial 
caste of the Kurumbas.'** When these had found their 
occupation as regular soldiers gone, they took to marauder- 
ing, and made themselves so obnoxious by their thefts and 
robberies, that the term Kalian, thief, was applied and stuck 
to them as a tribal appellation. i*^ In some documents the 
Kallas are called Kurumbas, and one of the sub-divisions of 
the kindred Koramas is known as KaUa-Koramas. 

purd^, edited by Fitzedward Hall, vol. Ill, pp. 238, 239, 259, 260, and 
vol. IV, p. 59, about the Tundikeras. 

1" The Eev. W. Taylor identifies also in the Catalogue Raisonne, vol. III. 
pp. 385 (the Kallars or Curumbars) and 399 (the Kallars, or thieves, another 
name for the Gurumhars or Vedars), the Kallas with the Kurumbas. MS. No. 
I, C. M. 755, 3, of the Mackenzie MSS. identifies in fact the Kallas with the 
Kurumbas, for the Kallas of KaJlakkettu who were defeated by the Palegar. 
SrlvaHavaramakuttala Tevar and Krsnarayamarutappa Tsvar are called 
Kurumbas. The Kallas have also adopted the title Tevar like the Maravas. 
Compare moreover Mr. J. H. Nelson's remarks on the Kallas in his Manual 
of the Madura Country, Part IX, pp. 44-56. 

"*' In Tamil Teal, means theft, lying, and kalian, thief, robber ; in Mala- 
yalam kaUam denotes theft, untruth, and kalian, thief, Mar ; in Kanarese 
Icala is a vUlain, liar ; and in Telugu kalla, means lie. The word Kalian 
occurs only in the Tamil language as a tribal designation, a fact which proves 
that the name KaUan is derived from the root Tml, and not vice versA as Mr. 


From reliable information I have gathered, the Kurumba 
origin of the Kajlas appears very probable. The ancestors 
of the Kallas were according to tradition driven from their 
home in consequence of a famine and migrated from a place 
near Tripati in Tondamandalam to the south. They even- 
tually settled in the village Ambil on the bank of the Kole- 
roon (in Tamil KoUadam), opposite and not far distant from 
Tanjore, the river being between both places. The ruler of 
Tanjore enlisted them in his service as watch-men or Kavar- 
kar. Eventually, they left Ambilnadu, penetrated still 
further to the south and founded AmhuMvil, which they 
named after the home they had left not long before."^ They 
settled in nine villages, and their descendants are called 
Onhadukuppattdr, after onbadu nine and kuppam village. They 
are regarded as the nine representative clans of the Kallas. 
The reigning family of the Tondaman belongs to them, and the 
Onhadukuppattdr are as a sign of this connection invited to 
aU the marriages, festivals and other solemnities which take 
place at Court. Ambilnadu formed originally one of the 
12 independent small communities, known as Tamiaracu 
Nadu, i.e., a district which has its own kiugs, forming thus a 
sort of confederation, like that which prevailed among the 

Kelson seems to intimate when he says in his Manual (II, p. 49) "that the 
•word Kalian is common to the Kanarese, Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil 
tongues . . (andl that the Kalians were the last great ahoriginal tribe of the 
south which successfully opposed the advancing tide of Hinduism." 

146 ^ great part of the information about the Kallas I obtained from the 
present Dewan Regent of PudukOta, the Honorable A. Seshiah Sastriyar, 


See also Mr. Nelson's Manual, II, p. 44 : "According to Ward's Survey 
Account the Kalians belong to two main divisions, that of the Kilnddu or 
eastern country, and that of the Mel nadu or western country. The Kll 
Nadu comprises the Nadus of Melur, a village about sixteen miles east of 
Madura, VeUalur and Sirungudi : and its inhabitants, whose agromen is 
usually Ambalakaran, are the descendants of a clan which immigrated into 
the country in the following circumstances. Some Kalians belonging to the 
Vella (Vala P) Nadu near Kanchipuram (Conjeveram) came down south with 
a number of dogs on a grand hunting expedition, armed with their peculiar 
weapons, pikes, bludgeons and Vallari Thadis or bomerangs. Somehow in 
the neighbourhood of Melur, whilst they were engaged in their sport, they 


Kadambas. This Nadu was situated east of Trichinopoly, 
south of Tanjore and north of Eamnad, the residence 
of the Setupati.i*' In course of time the Ambilnadu Kallas 
became through the favour of the Trichinopoly Naicks the 
heads of the twelve districts, under their chief the Tondaman. 
One of these princes married a daughter of a Trichinopoly 
Naick, and her consort erected after her death the Ammal 
cattiram, which lies between Trichinopoly and Pudukota. In 
consequence and in honor of this connection the court language 
at Pudukota is to this day Telugu, and Telugu is the first 
language in which the royal children are instructed. In 
the characters of this language the Eajas also write their 
signature. The Kattiyams or poems which celebrate the deeds 
and contain the pedigree of the Tondamans are sung in 
Telugu and by Telugu bards or Bhatrdjus. 

A singular observance which has survived to the present 
day seems to strengthen the evidence about the Kurumba 
descent of the Kallas. At every important feast, especially 
at the floating festival, which is celebrated by the Pudukota 
Eajas the Kambali-Kurumbas of a neighbouring village, 
about 4 miles distant from Pudukota, appear with their 
goddess Vlralaksmi. They then perform before the Eaja a 
very old and peculiar dance, their heads being covered with 
long flowing plumes, and at the conclusion of the dance, a 
Kurumba sits down quietly with his arms round his knees, 
while another breaks on his head cocoanuts, the tom-toms 
meanwhile continuing to beat time to the dance. With this 

observed a peacock showing fight to one of their doga, and thinking from 
this circumstance that the country must he a fortunate country and one 
favorahle to bodily strength and courage, they determined to settle in it." 

In Dr. Winslow's Tamil Dictionary, p. 31, Amhalakkdran is explained 
as " a chief of the Kaller caste," or as KaUajjatittalaiyan. 

The village of the Kallas above alluded to is Ambalakkarappatfi and lies 
5 miles distant from Melur. 

1" The TamU smssrjrsr, Tanmracu, originally meaning self-govern- 
ment, got eventually the sense of republican, anarchic and even independent 
rule. Tannaracu Nadu is therefore a district with a democratic or indepen- 
dent government. 


ceremony the festival oonoludes. This respect paid to the 
Kurumba goddess seems to prove that she is also worshipped 
by the Kalias, who, though calling themselves Saivites, are 
mostly still devil-worshippers.'** 

The ancient home of the Kalias being Tondamandalam 
explains thus the name of their chief, so well known in the 
modern Indian history as the Tondaman ; and their Kurumba 
origin is likewise indicated by their using the Nadu and 
Kottam system as a division of their country ; these two 
terms being peculiar to the Eevenue Administration of the 

From subsequent events it is however clear that the 
Kurumbas, though defeated and at times even reduced to 
insignificance, were not annihilated and that they eventually 
recovered to some extent their former influence. We know 
thus that the Kurumbas reasserted their supremacy in certain 
places, and made themselves feared again in Tondamandalam, 
and held Marutam Kottai in the times of Krsnaraja of 

Another branch of the Kurumbas is even said to have 
founded the kingdom of Vijayanagara, as its first dynasty 
is traced to Kurumba descent. Horace H. Wilson says that 
these princes were of a "Kiirma or Kuruba family." This 
tradition tallies with the fact that both the first kings of 
Vijayanagara and the Kurumbas pretended to be Yadavas.'^' 

Other Kurumbas invaded Southern India about two 
hundred years ago and founded the Maratha kingdom of 
Tanjore, an event which leads me to speak of the Kurmis, 
Kumhis or Kunbis. 

"' The special deity of the modern Kalias is called Alakar, ^lasir • 
alakii signifies beauty. Compare ahout the coooanuts, p. 238. 

'" See Mr. Ellis' Seport on the Mirasi Rights, pp. 228, 229. 

"0 See Mackenzie Collection No. U, C. M. 768, VIII. 

'°' See p. 261. Rev. W. Taylor's Catalogue Raisonne, vol. Ill, p. 368, 
and H. H. Wilson's Introduction to the Mackenzie Collection, 1st ed., p. cxi, 
(2nd cd., p. 83): " One tradition ascrihed the origin of Vijai/anagar to Madhava 
leaving it to the Kurma or Kiiruia family." 

of bharatavarsa or india. 261 

On the Kurmis, Kumbis or Kunbis. 

I have already intimated that a considerahle portion of 
the agricultiiral population of Northern India is, as I believe, 
of Graudian origin. When saying this, I had in view the 
widely-spread and well-known tribe of the Kurmis, Kumbis 
or Kunbis, who according to the last Census Eeport number 
12,199,531 souls. The agricultural population forms in most 
countries the bulk of the nation, and, in an agricultural land 
like India this large number need not create any astonish- 
ment. The late Eev. Dr. John Wilson proposed to derive 
the word Kurmi (Kumbi or Kunbi) from the Sanskrit root 
krs, to plough, and to take kurmi for a modification of krsmi, 
ploughman, a word which, however, so far as I know, does 
not exist in Sanskrit.'^^ 

I regard this etymology as wrong and prefer to explain 
the terms Kurmi and Kumbi as contractions of Kurumi and 
Kurumbi; in fact, as stated previously, we actually meet with 
the term Kurma for Kuruma-^^' The interchange between 
r and d modifies Kurumba into Kudumba and most peculiarly 
a part of the agricultural population of Tanjore bears to 
this day the name Kudumban which is ideijtical with 
Kudumbi, and from which the Marathi Kumbi or Kunbi is 
derived. The expression Ktidvmbi is stiU occasionally used 
in this sense, as I have been informed on good authority, 
by some natives of Baroda and its neighboiirhood ; and even 
in the Mysore territory the Maratha Kunbis are called, as 
I hear, at times Kudumbis. The existence of terms like 

'5^ See the Kev. Dr. John Wilson's " Tribes and Languages of the Bombay 
Presidency " in the Indian Antiquary, vol. Ill, p. 222 : " The largest tribe 
of the JIaratha people is that of the Kuniis, corresponding with the Gujarati 
Kulambls or cultivators. The derivation of the name is as follows : Kruhmi 
(S.) a plonghman, Kmnii (Hindi), KulambI (Gujarati), and Kunabi or Kunbi 
(Marathi). They are called ' Mara^haa ' by way of distinction. Some of their 
oldest and highest families (as that of Sivaji, the founder of the Maratha Em- 
pire) hold themselves to he descended of Kshatriyas or BajpUts ; and, though 
they eat with the cultivating Marathis, they do not iutertnarry vrith them. 
All the Marathds, however, are viewed by the Brahmans as Siidras." 

"s See the text and n. 151 on p. 260. 



Kiirumbi or Kudumbi accounts also for the Q-uzarati Kulamhl, 
though this expression is said to be only used in works pub- 
lished in the Educational series. 

The term Kudumbi, however, is also mentioned in the 
Madras Census Eeport as current in Tan j ore. It must not 
be mistaken for the Sanskrit Kutumhi, householder ; nor 
must it be connected with the Tamil kudumi, a tuft of hair. 

Kumbi was changed into Kunhi, and this again into Ku- 
nabi and Kunubi which forms are found in modern Marathi. 
Should any derivative of Kurmi, Kumbi or Kunbi denote 
agriculture, it' must have originated in the same manner 
from Kumbi as Vellanmai has from Vellalan. 

The antiquated Indian caste system is so far right that 
it assigns the Kurmis, Kumbis or Kunbis to the Sudra class, 
i.e., to the non- Aryan population. In spite of contradictory 
evidence Colonel Dalton thinks : " it is probable that in the 
Kurmis we have the descendants of some of the earliest of 
the Aryan colonists of Bengal."^^* 

The Kurmis are on the whole a very respectable, indus- 
trious and well-to-do class, though not credited with much 
intellect. Like many other low-born people some Kurmis 
display a great anxiety to prove their noble extraction, and, 
in order to avoid any mistakes being made on this subject. 
Dr. Francis Buchanan expressly asserts that they are in 
reality Siidras, though some claim to be Ksatriyas. The 
Kurmis of Berar eat meat, drink spirits and allow widows 
to remarry. In the Bombay Presidency the Kurmis are 
subdivided into two classes, the Agris and Mardthas, and 
the latter are in their turn again known as Pure Marathas 
and Akarmashis. The Akarmashis are deemed to be descen- 
dants of slaves, and the Agris are representatives of an 
aboriginal race.'*' 

'" See his Ethnology of Bengal, p. 317. 

>" About the Kurmis compare Dr. Fr. Buchanan's Sistory, Antiquities, 
Topography and Statistics of Eastern India, vol. I, pp. 166, 283; vol. II pp! 


These facts seem to be conclusive evidence for the non- 
Aryan origin of the Kurmis and Kunbis. But what makes 
this tribe historically so interesting, is the circumstance that 
some of the chief Hindu dynasties of modern times such 
as the Eajas of Sattdra, the late Eajas of Tanjore, Scindia 
and others are of Kumbi extraction. The circumstance 
that the old Marathi dialect has preserved the term Kudumbi 
enables us to trace the connection of these Kunbis with the 
Kudumbas or Kurumbas. 

Considering the bravery and the fierceness of the ancient 
Kurumbas who were the dread and the bane of their neigh- 
bour's, we need not be surprised if the fire of their martial 
disposition was not quite extinct in the otherwise plodding 
Kumbis, and that the genius of Sivaji and Ekoji could 
kindle the spark into a blazing flame. If Sir Greorge 
Campbell had suspected the origin of the Kumbis, he would 

468, 469 : " Next to the AMrs the Kurmis here (in Gorukhpoor) hold the 
highest place ; and in Parraona they obtained the whole property, although 
they were not able to secure the title of Raja. This, however, was bestowed 
on the family by the late Asfud-Doulah, but it gave great offence to the 
Eajputs, and has been discontinued. The families most nearly connected 
with the chiefs of Parraona, and some others, who were Chaudkuris of Per- 
gimahs, are reckoned Ashraf , and scorn the plough. While a great many of 
the Saithawar and Patanawar tribes have become ashamed of the term Kurmi, 
and reject all additions to the names above-mentioned, although it is well 
known that they are Kurmis, and many of them are not ashamed of this 
name. On the right of the Sarayu this tribe is most commonly called Kunmi 
or Kunbi, which, in the account of Mysore, I have written Cunabi (see above 
p. 232 n. 109); for itis one of the most generally diffused audnumerous tribes in 
India ; and in Malawa has risen to great power by the elevation of Sindhiya 
to the government of TJjjain. This person was a Kurmi ; but I am told, 
that at his capital the Kurmis are now reckoned Eajputs, as they would have 
been here had the Parraona family been a little more powerful. There is 
some reason to suspect, that their daim is better founded than that of many 
who have had more success ; for it is alleged by many, that they are the 
same with the Tharus, whose claim to be descended of the family of the sun, 
is supported by many circumstances which must be allowed to have some 
weight, although I do not think them conclusive. If the Kurmis, however, 
are the same with the Tharus, they are at any rate descended of the most 
powerful, most civilized, and most ancient tribe, that has been sovereigns of 
the country since the time at least of the family of the sun. Ag the Tharus, 
however, are impure, the Kurmis strenuously deny the connection, they being 



not have been so puzzled about the military element so con- 
spicuous in their character.''^ 

On the origin of the term Kadamba. 

Having been able to recognize in the Kurmis or Kumbis 
the well-known Kurumbas or Kudumbas, I do not believe that 
I go too far by suggesting a similar explanation for the 
name of the famous Kadamba dynasty of ancient times. 
Only mysterious legends which connect its founder with the 
Kadamba tree are known about this royal race. I suspect 
that behind the name Kadamba lurks that of Kudumba 
or Kurumba, and that the former was originally an acci- 
dental alteration through variation of sound, which, in course 
of time, was accepted and used to obliterate the real origin 
of the ruling tribe. In this case, its ethnological status is 
ascertained, and I shall now enquire into the origin of the 
title Kadamba. 

nearly as pure as the A hire. Thej' formerly ate wild pork, tut now reject it, 
and will not acknowledge that they drink Bpirituous liquor. They keep 
widows as concubines. Their Gurus and Purohits are the same with those of 
the Ahirs." 

Compare further Sir Henry M. Elliot's Supplemental Glossary of Indian 
Terms, vol. I, pp. 155, 157 ; H. H. WHson's Glossary, pp. 302, a04 and 305, 
uniei Kunbi a,ni. Kurmi : " Knrmi, Koormee (H. ^_j«X jriy). The caste of 
agriculturists, or of a member of it, in Eastern and Central Hindustan, being 
the same, essentially, as the Kunbis of the west and south." Consult also 
Colonel Dalton's Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal, pp. 306, 308, 317-327 ; Sir 
George Campbell's Ethnology of India, pp. 40, 92-95 ; Rev. M. A. Sherring's 
Hindu Tribes and Castes, vol. I, pp. 323-325 ; vol. II, pp. 99-101, 187, 188 ; 
vol. Ill, pp. 150-152. 

''* See Sir George Campbell's Ethnology of India, p. 94 :" Nothing puzzled 
me more than this, viz., to understand whence came the great Maratta mili- 
tary element. In the Punjab one can easily understand the sources of Sikh 
power ; every peasant looks fit to be a soldier. But the great mass of the 
Maratta Koonbees look like nothing of the kind, and are the quietest and 
most obedient of humble and unwarlike cultivators. . Although the Koonbee 
element was the foundation of the Maratta power, though Sevajee and some 
of his chiefs were Koonbees, it appears that these people came almost 
exclusively from a comparatively small district near Sattara, a hiUy region 
where, as I judge, the Koonbees are much mixed with numerous aboriginal 
aad semi-aboriginal tribes of JMhars and others." Compare about the Kunbis 
also the Gazetteer nj Auraiigr'had, pp. 265-270. 


Different legends are told to explain the name of the 
Kadamha, Kadamba or Kadamba dynasty,'" 

One story tells us that after the destruction of the demon 
Tripura a drop of perspiration fell from the forehead of 
Kvara through the hollow of a Kadamba tree, and assumed 
the form of a man with three eyes and four arms. He was 
accordingly called Trinetra or Trilocana Kadamha, became 
the foimder of the Kadamba dynasty and erected near the 
Sahya mountain his capital Vdnavdii, also known as Jayantl- 
piira or Vaijayantipura}^^ 

Another tradition relates that he was the son of Siva 
and Parvati, who stayed for a certain period in the same 
mountain range, that he was born there eventually under a 
Kadambatree, whence the child obtained his name, and 
became a king in course of time. 

These are the two most widely-spread reports, but ac- 
cording to another a Brahman of Yalgi underwent a severe 
penance in order to become a king through the favor of 
MadhukeSvara.i^^ His penance was graciously accepted, and 
a divine voice informed him that he would be reborn as a 
peacock, that the person who would eat his head would 
become a king, that those who would partake of his breast 
would become ministers, and that those who would feast 
on the remainder of his body would become treasurers. The 
Brahman satisfied with this promise, went to Kdii, where he 
killed himself with a spear and was reborn as a peacock. In 
such a state he roamed about in the forest and announced 

1" See " A Kadamba Inscription at Siddhapur" by K. B. Patbak, b.a., 
in tbe Indian Antiquary, vol. XI, p. 273 : " The name of the family seems to 
have been written differently, as Kadamba, Kadamba or Kadamba." 

158 Consult Mackenzie MSS., Kanareee No. 744, 11, pp. 208 »eq., further 
H. H. Wilson's Introduction to The Mackenzie Collection, pp. 1., ci., old 
edition, pp. 60, 149, second edition; Mr. Lewis Eice's Mysore and Coorg, 
vol. I, pp. 193, 194) II> P- 352, and his Mysore Inscriptions, p. xxxiii. 

15* See Maekemie Manuscripts, Kauarese, No. 725, VI, pp. 99-102 ; H. H. 
Wilson's Mackenzie Collection, pp. ci, ciii, old edition ; pp. 149, 150, new 


with a shrill voice that the person who would eat his head 
would become a king ; until he fell into the hands of a gang 
of thieves, who were resting under a Kadamha tree. They 
killed the bird and asked a woman, Puspavafl by name, who 
was living near by, to cook the peacock and to distribute its 
flesh amongst them. While the woman was preparing the 
peacock, and the thieves were bathing, her son came home 
very hungry, and, as he wanted something to eat, his mother 
gave him the head of the bird in ignorance of what was in 
store for him who ate it. When he had eaten it, the thieves 
returned, partook of the remainder of the meat, but were 
astonished that after staying a while, none of them was 
proclaimed king. They fetched the woman, who, when hard 
pressed, told them what she had done, and that her son 
had eaten the head of the peacock. The thieves found that 
it was of no use to fight against destiny and submitted to 
their fate. 

The king Annkapiirandara of Jayantipura had died at that 
very time without leaving any living issue behind and, as 
was the custom in these circumstances, the ministers let the 
state elephant loose with a watervessel containing holy water. 
While thus roaming about, he came to the spot in the forest 
near which the son of Puspavati was living close to the 
Kadamba tree. The elephant bowed down to the youth, 
who ascended the animal and was carried by him to Jayanti- 
pura, where he was joyfully received, placed on the royal 
throne and anointed as king. He assumed henceforth the 
name Mayuravarma Kadamba and ruled for a long time 
gloriously over the country. 

The election of a king is in Indian legends often entrusted 
to a state-elephant, and widely spread is also the belief that 
he who eats the head of a peacock becomes a king. The 
peacock is in Sanskrit called Mayura, hence the name 
Mayuravarma, which the youth accepted. So far as the 
person and his origin are concerned, the two legends differ, 
as one refers to Trinetra and the other to Mayuravarma 


Kadamba, but the Kadamba tree plays in both traditions a 
significant part. 

As Puspamti prepared the food for the thieves of which 
her son partook, and which she distributed among the thieves, 
one may assume with good reason that she belonged to the 
same caste as the thieves who caught the peacock, and these 
people I feel inclined to identify with the Kurumbas. 
The peacock plays an important part in the account of the 
settlement of the Kallas in the Kadambavanam or Kadamhd- 
tavi of Madura. So far as the expression thief is concerned, 
it must not be forgotten that thieving or robbing was not 
considered disgraceful, if it was practised as a regular pro- 
fession, just as cattlelifting did not in former times attach 
any stygma to those who indulged in it in the Highlands 
of Scotland. 

The Kadamba tree, of which there exist various species, 
is much esteemed for its flowers which are sacred to the god 
Skanda, for its fragrant and highly esteemed powder which 
is used at religious ceremonies, for the juice which exudes 
from its stem, and for other reasons. Its name was spelt in 
various ways, Kadamba and Kadamba, and as it was origi- 
nally an indigenous Indian plant, I presume that this term 
is also indigenous and Non- Aryan. I believe that the people 
and the dynasty, which we caU Kadambas, were actually 
a branch of the Kurumbas, who had assumed a slightly 
modified designation by changing their name Kurumba into 
Kadamba, and that the stories about the Kadamba tree are 
inventions of later times in order to explain the coincidence. 
It is hardly necessary to restate here the resemblance be- 
tween the a and u sounds, and to mention that the Kadamba 
plant is in various places of India called Kudumba."" 

I have had occasion to allude to the peculiar mode 
of confederation prevalent among the Kurumbas and 

18° See the Eev. Dr. Morison Winslow's Tamil and English Dictionary, 
p. 219, "Katampam, Eatampu, a flower tree." It is sacred to Skanda who ia 
called Katampan ; Madura is called Katampavanam or Katampdtavi. On p. 


a similar institution is said to have existed among the 

Yet, what seems to establish the original identity be- 
tween the Kurumbas and the Kadambas, is the fact that 
the term Kadamba is actually found in Tamil as a synono- 
mous and identical expression for Kurumba, though this 
circumstance has up to now escaped the notice it really 

236 we find "Katampam, Katampu, the Kadamba tree." In the common 
vernacular the Kadamha tree is often called Kudumbu, in Hindustani and 
Bengali it is known as Kudum. — Toddy is made from certain Kadamba trees, 
and the Marathaa make mead from the Kadamba {Anthoeephalus Cadamba). 
Compare Dr. Dymock's Anthropogonic Trees, Bombay Anthropological 
Journal, vol. I, p. 301. ParvatI (or Durga) likes to dwell in the tree. Mr. 
Lewis Eice says on p. xxxiii in his Mysore Inscriptions that "the Ka- 
damba tree appears to be one of the palms from which toddy is extracted." 
The Vispupuraua (see H. H. Wilson's translation edited by Fitzedward Hall, 
vol. V, pp. 65, 66) reports, that " Varuna, in order to provide for his 
(Sssa's) recreation, said to (his wife) Vaninl (the goddess of wine) : ' Thou, 
Madira, art ever acceptable to the powerful Ananta. Go, therefore, auspicious 
and kind goddess, and promote his enjoyments.' Obeying these commands, 
Varunl went and established herself in the hollow of a Kadamba-tree in the 
woods of Vrindavana. Baladeva, roaming about (came there, and), smelling 
the pleasant fragrance of liquor, resumed his ancient passion for strong 
di'ink. The holder of the ploughshare, observing the vinous drops distilling 
from the Kadamba-tree, was much delighted, (and gathered) and quaffed 
them along with the herdsmen and the Gopis, whQst those who were skilful 
with voice and lute celebrated him in their songs. Being inebriated (with 
the wine), and the drops of perspiration standing like pearls upon his limbs, 
he called out, not knowing what he said." (In a note to this is said : 
" Kadambarl is one of the synonyms of wine or spirituous liquor. The 
grammarians, however, also derive the word from some legend ; stating it to 
be so called, because it was produced from the hoUow of a Kadamba-tree 
on the Gomanta mountain.") According to the Bhagavata the Kadamba - 
tree was placed on SuparSva; see Vishnupurana, vol. II, p. 116. In the 
Sanskrit Dictionary of Professors Bohtlingk and Roth we read in vol. I, p. 
211: ^' Kadambara ein aus den Blumen der Nauclea Cadamba bereitetes 
borauschendes Getrank, n. Tfqi^, H (Smacandra) an. Med. f. f diesB. und 
A.K 2, 10, 40, H. 902, the rain-water which collects in clefts and hollow 
places of the tree (Nauclea Cadamba) when the flowers are in perfection, 
and which is supposed to be impregnated with the honey, Carey bei Haugh- 
ton. 4i<H4>'li"i 3TRTT 11^ +KH<1l'r) HT Hariv. 5417, fg." 

"1 See p. 259. 

"^ I have elsewhere pointed out the circumstance that the name of the 
rude and cruel Kurumbas was used in some South Indian Languages as an 
expression for cruelty; so that Earumbart denotes in Tamil and Malayalam 


At a much later period we find the Kaclambas connected 
with the last great dynasty of Southern ludia, the Eajas of 
Vijayanagara. The founders of this kingdom are also said 
to have been Kurumbas. If the first family of the Vijaya- 
nagara kings were Kurumbas, and on the other hand re- 
lated to the once famous, but then decayed though not extinct 
royal house of the Kadambas of Tuluva, historical evidence, 
however slight, would have been adduced to estabhsh the 
connection between the Kurumbas and the Kadambas, and 
this connection is in its turn supported by philological proof 
of the original identity of their names.''^''^ 

I have thus in the preceding pages given an account of 
those more important sections of the Gaudian population 
whose identification offered the least difiiculty, and who from 
time immemorial have occupied an acknowledged position 
among the inhabitants of India. 

I have shown, moreover, that these Gaudians form 
together with the Dra vidians the Gauda-Dravidian race, and 

a savage, a stubborn fellow, and kurumiu (or ktirumhuttanam) , barbarity, 
insolence and wickedness. The same word underwent a slight alteration, 
of u being changed into a, so that Eadamban signifies in both these 
languages an unruly fellmv, and in Dr. Winslow's Dictionary we find on 
p. 219 " Si^LDuiT (Katampar), s. Unruly persons, (^^lduit (Kurumpar)." 
The only explanation of the name Kadamba I remember to have seen, is 
contained in Mr. Grigg's Manual of the Nilagiri District, where in note 4 
on p. 208 he asks : " May not this word (Kadamba) be a compound of Katu or 
Katam (both meaning forest) and Kurumba, and perhaps be the same as 
Kad-Kurumba ? " 

i°3 See The Mackenzie Collection Introduction, p. civ; new edition, 
pp. 61, 62 : " There is little doubt also that the first princes of Yijayanagar 
were descended from a Tuluva family of ancient origin and power, whose 
dominions extended towards the western sea : whether they were connected 
with the Kadamba family does not appear, but that this race continued to 
hold possessions in Kernata, till near their time, is proved by grants at 
Banavaai, Savanur, and Gokernam, dated in the twelfth, thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries by Kadamba kings." Compare also Mr. Lewis Rice's 
Mysore and Coorg, vol. Ill, p. 98 : " In 1336 was founded the city of Vijaya- 
nagar, whose princes are said to have derived their origin from the 


that though descended from the same stock and speaking the 
same language, these tribes separated iuprehistoric times and 
subsequently became still more alienated from each other. 

In spite of this fact, they continued to live intermingled 
in the same districts, though a gulf of hatred and of caste 
prejudice prevented them from coalescing. The cause of 
this separation of the two kindred tribes it is now impossible 
to ascertain, but the division has since been kept alive and, 
if anything, it may be still further widened in the future. 
A few exceptions to this mutual antipathy however occur, 
e.g., in the case of the Bhils and the Gonds. 

With these remarks I shall pass to the third part, 
in which the religious aspect of this enquiry will be dis- 


( 271 ) 



Inteoductoet Rbmaees. 

In the two previous parts my researches concerning the 
Original Inhabitants of India proceeded from a linguistic 
point of view, I shall now endeavour to prove that the con- 
clusions I arrived at from philological evidence can be sup- 
ported by, as it were, a theological enquiry. Though the 
main subject of these researches refers to the non-Aryan 
population of this country, I have as an introduction also to 
consider portions of the Aryo-Indian theogony, as both the 
Aryan and the non- Aryan have eventually blended into one. 
The Sanskrit works which in particular contain accounts 
of such a nature are the Vedas, more especially the Rgveda, 
the Mahabharata, the Ramayaija, the Puraijas and the 
Dharmasastras. The Rgveda which supplies us with the 
most ancient description of the religious and domestic life 
of the Aryan invaders of India, and which on account of 
the sacred character of its hymns has been invested with 
a supernatural origin, contains the oldest, and as such the 
most important information, of this kind. The knowledge 
we derive from it is, however, of a very vague and obscure 
nature. The accounts preserved in the Mahabharata, Rama- 
yaua, Puraiias and Law-books refer to a later period, and 
are obscured by a legendary veil which renders their explana- 
tion difficult. 

The Veda contains a collection of ancient verses composed 
by different authors at various times for sundry purposes. 



It is extant in four different Samliitas or texts. The Bgveda 
contains tlie rcas or verses arranged according to tlie hymns, 
to which they belong. They are recited by the Hotr-priests, 
and must be regarded as the literary legacy bequeathed by 
their forefathers to the present Aryan population of India. 
The separate verses of the Egveda hymns are compiled in 
the Sdmaveda without any internal connection and are sub- 
ject to musical modifications ; the Udgatr-priests sing these 
sdmani or songs at the Soma offering. The same verses 
are re-arranged into yajumsi or prayers, and are with a 
peculiar intonation muttered by the Adhvaryu-priests of the 
Yajurveda, of which two recensions exist, the Krsna, the 
black or unarranged, and the 8uMa, the white or cleansed 
Yajurveda. The verses of these three Yedic compilations 
are known as mantra. The Atharva- or Brahma-veda is the 
fourth Veda and consists mostly of popular incantations, 
some of which can justly lay claim to great antiquity, as 
they have been found also among the legendary lore of other 
Aryan tribes. It is ascribed to the priest Atharvan. The 
verses of this Veda rank more as Tantra than Mantra. 
"While the hymns of the Rgveda and of the Atharvaveda 
possess, besides their poetic and religious value, a high 
importance as historical documents, the liturgical element 
prevails in both the Samaveda and Yajurveda. The latter, 
however, attained in subsequent times such a popularity, 
that the Taittirlyopanisad likens the four Vedas to a bird, 
in which the Yajurveda forms the head, the Eg- and Sama- 
veda respectively the right and left wings, and the Athar- 
vaveda the tail. 

It is hardly reasonable to suppose that man in his earliest 
stage should have possessed sufficient aptitude and leisure 
to consider the obscure problem of creation. Wherever 
therefore we find in olden times, or amidst hitherto unknown 
people, an account of the creation, we may safely ascribe 
Such an account to a subsequent period when the conditions 


of life permitted sucli meditations. Tlie contemplation of 
tlie universe eventually, however, inspired the ancient poets 
to investigate and to try to discover the secrets of nature, 
to find out who created heaven and earth, the sun, the 
moon, and the stars, to determine whether the night pre- 
ceded the day, or the day the night, and similar problems. 
Whenever the creation of the world forms the sub-stratum 
of thought, it seems natural to assume that this creation — if 
a creative power or impetus is admitted — may be ascribed 
to one or to more than one creator, this creator being often 
considered as the supreme centre from which creation freely 
emanates to sub-centres, which in their turn emanate ad 
infinitum. Yet, all the religions actually known to us which 
accept a creative principle, acknowledge the existence of 
only one creator. But he who believes in the existence of 
one creator need not necessarily believe in the existence of 
only one God. Much less right have we to assume, that the 
religion of the people to whom a monotheistic seer belongs, 
must be monotheistic. A faint monotheistic tendency is 
quite compatible with a limited or even an extravagant 
polytheism, and this peculiar feature is, if anywhere, extant 
already in the faith contained in the Veda, and later on in 
the Indian Trimilrti and the immense Hindu Pantheon. The 
different Vedic gods, Varuna, Mitra, Indra, Agni, POsan, 
Savitr, Soma and others, are each in their turn praised and 
worshipped as the supreme divinity, but this worship of 
one deity at a time does not constitute monotheism. Every 
god thus adored retains his personal existence, and is not 
merged in another. This kind of worship has been styled 
Henotheism or Kathenotheism, but as such it must be distin- 
guished from Monotheism, the worship of one god. At all 
events the Vedic Henotheism savours much of Polytheism. 
The qualities and the position of the various deities are 
subiect to change, and this fact enables us to understand 
how the Asuras, the original gods of the Veda, were degraded 


when the period of their ascendancy had expired, and 

the very term asura became identical with demon, and how 
Brahman (Brahma), the creative deity of the Indian cos- 
mogony, was deposed from his throne, was reduced to a 
comparatively insignificant place in the Trimurti, and nearly 
altogether lost his ascendancy as a propitiating deity. 

The rapturous enunciations of enthusiastic bards, enun- 
ciations which, in course of time, often develop into religious 
tenets, as mighty forest trees arise from tiny seeds, should 
neither be undervalued as indications of poetic eminence or 
of intellectual power, nor overrated as religious inspirations 
of supreme value. A too high theological importance has, 
in my opinion, been attributed by some European San- 
skritists to the comparatively few celebrated Vedic hymns 
which contain an allusion to the creation of the world and 
to its creator, an estimation which in this country has been 
readily accepted and has led to some peculiar conclusions 
concerning the ancient Aryan religion. 

The overpowering impression which the elementary forces 
of nature produce on the minds of simple but susceptible 
people is manifested by the worship they offer to these 
powers individually. From the nucleus of these deified 
elements arise at a later period the complicated pantheons 
of the various polytheistic religions. The ancient Aryans 
offer no exception to this general rule. The natural origin 
of their gods is manifested by the ancient songs of the 
Veda, which display the worship of the physical forces. 

Vedic Deities. 

I shall give in the following discussion a cursory account 
of the most important Vedic deities. The Vedic theogony 
has been described at length by many eminent European 
scholars, so that I need not dilate on it here, especially as 
an exhaustive treatise on it does not come within the range 
of this discussion. 


The Vedio poets assumed the existence of three great 
spheres, the heaven {div), the atmosphere {ant ariks a), a,nd the 
earth {prthvi, bhumi, ^c). The atmosphere lies between 
heaven and earth, and these two together are called rodasl. 
Heaven and earth are each subdivided into three spheres, 
those of the earth being called paramd, madhyamd and 
avama hhumi. The earth, or rather its spirit, is generally 
invoked together with heaven. 

Variina occupies in the Egveda the highest position. 
He resides in the heavens high above all gods. Like 
other gods he is styled an Asura, or Lord, and he is most 
probably identical with the Ahura Mazda of the Zend- 
Avesta. He is the chief among the Adityas, or the sons of 
Aditi. ^ He is the surrounder of the firmament, the Uranos 
of the Greek, and became subsequently the god of the sea. 
He has spread the stars on high and the earth below, he 
fixed the Seven Stars in the sky, he constructed the path 
of the sun, the moon moves according to his laws, he made 
the long nights follow the days. Like Tndra he is addressed 
as the supreme deity, for the divine Varuija is called the 
king of all, both of gods and of men, and Indra and Varmia 
together made by their power all the creatures of the world. 
He is also often associated with Mitra, when the latter is 
regarded as presiding over the day and Varuna over the 
night. Mitra is identical with the Iranic sun god Mithra, 
and another brother of Yamna, the Aditya Dhdga, becomes 
the Slavonic supreme god Bog. 

Sitrya, the sun, resides in the sky, and forms with Agni 
and Indra or Vayu the triad of the Vedic etymologists. 
He enlivens all that live in the morning and sends them to 
rest in the evening. The praises of Surya, Sura or Savitr, 
the genitor, are through the famous Gayatn daily sung by 

^ The number of the Adityas varies. Besides Varnna are generally 
mentioned Mitra, Aryaman, Indra, Bhaga, Daksa, Aiisa, Saviti and Surya 


millions of worshippers.^ Pusan is likewise worshipped as 
a solar deity or an Aditya. His name signifies nourisher, 
he is the protector of the paths frequented by men^ he is 
the herdsman who drives the cattle with an ox-goad, and 
he rides on a goat. He is the lover of his sister Sdrya, and 
assists the day to alternate with night. 

Vimu, the pervader, is also a Solar deity in the Veda. 
Although he does not occupy a predominant position, he 
appears as the friend of Indra, or as the god who strode 
over the seven regions of the earth and planted his step 
in the three spheres of the universe. 

Usas or the morning dawn, the daughter of heaven and 
the sister of the Adityas as well as of the night, is likewise 
worshipped She illustrates by her regular appearance the 
passing away of generations of men and the continuity of 
divine institutions. The two Asvins, the divine charioteers, 
who sparkle with perpetual yoath and are full of strength 
and of vigour, the Dioskuroi of the Greek, precede the 
dawn. They protect men, they heal the ailing and help 
the distressed, especially when exposed to danger at sea. 
SaranijU is mentioned as their mother. 

The moon and the planets are not enrolled in the Veda 
among deities. The moon is still known as Gandramas and 
not as Soma, nor is Brhaspati (Brahmanaspati) identified 
with the planet Jupiter. The Great Bear is mentioned 
among the stars which are fixed in the sky, and which are 
occasionally assigned to celebrated saints as mansions. 

Indra, the mighty sovereign of the atmosphere, is the 
god of the shining sky, who fixes the earth and supports 
the firmament. He defeats the demons in the sky and on 
earth, and Vrtra, the serpent Ahi, and Uala are thus con- 
quered by him. He protects mankind and vouchsafes 
refreshing rain to man and beast. His greatness transcends 

^ figveda III, 62, 10 : Tat Sayitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi, 
dhiyo yo nalj praoodayat, 


the sky and the earth and surpasses the atmosphere ; no 
one^ whether god or daring mortal^ can resist his command 
and empire. He eventually supersedes Varuija, and takes 
his place at the head of the gods. He manifests himself in 
the thunderstorm^ and his divine weapon is the thunderbolt. 
He supports the heroes in battle, swings his club, and 
heavy potations of Soma give him additional strength. 

Vdyu, the wind (also called Vcita), is associated with 
Indra, and is often mentioned as dwelling in the atmosphere 
in Indra's place. The first draught of Soma is presented 
to him. The wind god Vdta has been identified with the 
old Teutonic god Wotan {Wodan) or Odin. 

To Indra's or Vayu's sphere belong likewise the winds. 
The winds kut e^oxnv are collectively personified in Vayu, 
or individually appear as the Maruts. They are the gods of 
the thunderstorm. The Maruts are also called the sons of 
Budra and of Prsni. They follow Indra to the battle. The 
term Rudra, roaring, tawny-coloured, is as an epithet ap- 
plied in the Rgveda to difierent gods, e.g., to Agni, or it is 
used as the name of a separate deity, to whom as such are 
dedicated special hymns. He carries the lightning in his 
arm, and throws it as an arrow- He is the ruler of heroes, 
the fulfiller of sacrifice. His protection is required for men 
and for beasts, he heals the sick, destroys the wicked, but 
his anger must be pacified. At a later period Siva, the 
propitious, is identified with Rudra, but Siva is nowhere 
mentioned in the Rgveda, and Rudra is still everywhere 
subordinate to Indra. 

The rain god or thunder god Parjanya belongs likewise 
to this sphere, and he is the same as the Lithuanian god of 
thunder PerTtunas. 

Agni, the god of fire, who resides on the earth, is the 
first in the triad of Vedic gods. Though residing now on 
the earth, he came originally from heaven, from which 
Atharvan or Matarisvan carried him as a gift of the gods. 


and not by fraud as the Greek Prometheus had done. As 
lightning breaking through the rain cloud, Agni is called 
the son of water. In fact Agni lives in all the three 
spheres, as sun in the sky, as lightning in the atmo- 
sphere, and as fire on the earth. He is not worshipped in 
temples made by the hands of men, but under the open 
sky, and the holy fire is produced at his worship by rub- 
bing a stick of the Asvattha tree against a stem taken from 
the Sami tree. He is the pervading life of the world, he 
remains young, because he is always renewed ; he is the 
priest, the 2^urdhita or rtvij of the sacrifice, which, as the 
first Rsi, he offers to the gods. He purifies men, confers on 
them wealth, and protects them from their enemies, especi- 
ally from the demoniac Raksasas, whom he burns and whose 
castles he breaks down. Thus he becomes the most popu- 
lar god amongst men. 

Though Varuija and Indra are often extolled as the 
mightiest gods, the Veda does not contain a classification 
of the gods according to their rank, a classification which 
it would have been difficult to establish, for the gods did 
not, as I have already observed, retain everywhere the 
same position, a fact exemplified by Indra, who himself, as 
he loses his eminence, eventually becomes the leader of the 
minor gods. In the Zend-Avesta Indra or Andra is even 
turned into a bad demon. 

The number of the gods is in the Rgveda generally 
fixed at thirty-three, and in the Satapatha Brahmana 8 
Vasus, 11 Rudras, and 12 Adityas are enumerated, besides 
heaven and sky. In the Rgveda itself these thirty-three 
gods are classed in three groups, each containing eleven 
gods, who dwell respectively in the sky, air, and earth. As 
a thirty-fourth god Prajdpati is occasionally mentioned. 
Moreover, some well-known deities, as, t-.g'.,Agni,the Asvins, 
the Maruts, Usas and others are not included in these lists, 
so that the number 33 or 34 is by no means sufficient. Some 


hymns indeed allude to far greater numbers^ when Agni, 
e.g., is said to be worshipped by three thousand three 
hundred thirty and nine gods.^ 

Another division of the gods is into great and small, 
young and old. 

The Vedic gods lost in course of time their ascendancy^ 
and though Indra retained it longest, he was with some of 
his former colleagues relegated to the guardianship of a 
quarter of the world. He was posted to the east, while 
Agni went to the south-east, Yama to the south, Nirrti to 
the south-west, Varuna to the west, Vayu or ilarut to the 
north-west, Kiibera (who does not appear in the Rgveda) to 
the north, and Isana or Siva to the north-east. 

Yama, the son of Vivasvat and Saranyu, appears as the 
first man who died. He became the king of the dead spirits, 
who wandered to him after death. He is united with the 
gods, who think with him under a leafy tree, and is wor- 
shipped as a god. His sister is Yarm. He corresponds to 
the Iranic Yima who appears in the later legend as king 
Jamshld. The Persian hero Feridun is thus the representa- 
tive of the Iranic Thraetaona (Thrita), who is identical with 
the Vedic deity Trita Aptya. 

On Vedic Ceeation. 

In course of time the belief in the power of the gods 
as representing physical forces declined, and the mind of 
thinkers began to ponder over the mystery of creation. 
The Rg-Veda does not admit one universally adopted cosmo- 
gonic system, such as we find in the Bible. Well-known is 
the one expounded in the famous PurusasQkta. However, 
this hymn, though proclaiming the origin of the four castes, 

'In Bgreda III, 9, 9 are mentioned 3339 gods (triai sata tri sabas- 
ranyagnim triiiisacoa deva nava casaparyan). This number -wbioh may 
have probably been formed by adding 33 + 303 + 3003. See the Aitareya 
Brahmanam, edited by Martin Hang, Ph. D., Vol. II, p. 212 ; Bombay, 1863. 



hardly enters into the cosmogonic origin of the world. 
Moreover, it is of a comparatively late date, and its 
importance is thus much diminished. On the other hand, the 
Eg-Veda represents too early a period for broaching cosmo- 
gonic topics which were afterwards amply and even ad 
nauseam discussed in the Pauranio literature. 

Many different gods are, as we have seen, in their turn 
extolled as supreme and praised as the framers and rulers 
of the world. However, Prajapati, Hiranyagarbha, Visva- 
karman or Brahraaiiaspati appear in the Veda especially as 
creators of the uniA^erse. Most celebrated among the Vedic 
creation hymns is the 129th of the 10th book, a poem which 
has been repeatedly edited and translated since the time of 
Colebrooke. The 121st hymn of the same mandala possesses 
also great beauty and high poetic merit. It is addressed to 
Hiranyagarbha, the golden embryo. As the poet asks at 
the end of each verse : To what god may we offer sacrifice 
{kasmai dfvUya havisd vidhtma) ; the creator is also called 
Ka, Who, the nominative of Icasmai. 

Where such a variety of opinions exists, it is too much 
to expect that the various legends concerning the creation 
and the creator should agree, and indeed we find consider- 
able discrepancies among them. Even in principle they 
differ, for we find creation arising from nought, or from 
aught, or from emanation. These legends concerning the 
creation, however, initiate a new era of thought and reflec- 
tion and as sach they claim our attention. 

According to one legend the universe did not originally 
exist. Indra, the middle breath, kindled with his strength 
the other worn-out breaths or Rsis. He was called the kindler 
(Indha), because he kindled them. And Indha is called 
secretly Indra. The thus kindled gods created seven males, 
but as these seven males could not generate, the gods turned 
ihem into one. This male became Prajapati, who created 


the Veda by his austere penance^ and the waters from his 
speech. He pervaded all and desired to be reproduced from 
the waters. An egg arose and the triple science^ the trayl 
vidyd, was created.* 

This account^ which peculiarly enough gives a two-fold 
creation of the Veda, is at variance with another found in 
the same Brahmana, which states that only the waters were 
at the beginning of the universe, and a golden egg was 
created when the waters desired to be reproduced. This 
egg moved about for a year, after which time a male, iiurusa, 
appeared j this was Prajapati. As he had no other home, 
he remained in this egg for another year, when he desired 
to speak. He said hhur, which became the earth, bhuvah, 
which became the firmament, and svar, which became the 
sky. As he desired offspring, he created with his mouth 
the gods {devdh], who became such on reaching the sky, 
divam. Meanwhile it became daylight [diva). From his 
lower breath he created the Asuras, who assumed this state 
when they reached this earth. Darkness then set in, and 
with it Evil. After this he created Agni, Indra, Soma and 
Paramesthin, as well as Vayu, Candramas, and Usas. In 
consequence he is the progenitor of both the gods and the 
Asuras, and is also called so. He is likewise said to have 
assumed the shape of a tortoise in order to create pi'ogeny ; 
as he made {akarot) what he created, the word hurma, tor- 
toise, is derived from the Sanskrit root Icr, to make.'' Tradi- 
tion also accused him of having conceived, to the great 
indignation of the gods, an unholy passion for his daughter, 
said to have been either the sky or the dawn, and from 
their bodies was formed Eudra, who, as Pasupati, pierced 

A great change in religious feeling and in civil life was 
meanwhile slowly taking place among the Aryans when 

* See Satapatha Bralimana, VI, 1, 1. 

» Do. VII, 4, 3 and XI, 1, 6. 


they spread eastwards towards the plains of Hindustan and 
settled in large towns. Former shepherds and husband- 
men^ by becoming inmates of towns^ altered their mode of 
life and became artisans and traders. New interests^ 
and with them new divisions, arose and began to keep 
asunder the different branches of the population, which 
divisions, though originally only temporary, developed into 
permanent institutions and laid the foundation of the strict 
regulations of Hindu caste. The development of caste was 
great])' fostered by the fact that two rival and hostile races, 
the Aryan and the Gauda-Dravidian, occupied the country, 
and that the ruling nation aimed at intensifying and per- 
petuating this racial distinction. The priestly class profited 
most by such an arrangement, and the framing of the 
religious precepts and of the civil laws was left to their 
initiative. The priest not only framed the statutes, but 
also superintended their oliservanco with the help of the 
regal power, which he upheld for this very reason. The 
Brahman priest became the supreme head of the community, 
and though this power was not vested in one individual, 
but in the whole caste as an individual, it was not the less 
influential. The priest was the jDerformer of the sacrifice, 
and assumed the power to make it acceptable to the gods 
or not ; and as the gods depended on the Brahman priests 
for their sacrifices, their power extended even over the 
gods, and the Brahmans became the real gods, and the 
legislator Mann could say that a Brahman becomes by 
his birth the deity of the gods. Under these circumstances 
the religious enthusiasm of the bards of the Rgveda gave 
way to the theological meditations of the Yajurveda, the 
Veda of the sacrificial prayer, when this praj^er had lost its 
fervour, and had sunk to mere formulas, which had to be 
strictly observed. This prayer in its abstract form, or the 
neutral Brahman, grew eventually from the Atman into 
the Paratman (Paramdtman) or Supreme Spirit, and 


developed in time into the male god Brahman^ who occupied 
the high throne to which gods and men had recourse in 
their troubles^ and who advised and cheered them as a 
grandfather his grandchildren. The divine Asuras of the 
Rgveda became the demons of the Yajurveda^ Visiju came 
more to the fore, and Siva made his appearance in the 

Prajapati too, the creator of the universe, with its gods, 
demons, men, beasts, trees, and other matter, merges 
gradually into the person of Brahman, who though origin- 
ally unconnected with, and superior to, either Visiiu or 
Rudra, eventually forms with them the Trimurti. 

The Teimueti. 

It is a peculiar coincidence that the two great doctrines 
of the Trinity and the Transmigration of souls should have 
appeared in India, so far as we can judge, at about the 
same period; and so long after both had been known to 
the two leading nations of antiquity, the Chaldeans and 
Egyptians. The Chaldean triad, formed of the gods Anu, 
Bel, and Ea, the representatives of heaven, the lower world, 
and the water; the old Akkadian trinity composed of the 
divine father, mother, and their son, the Sun god ; or the 
Egyptian solar triads of Turn, Ra, and Kheper, or of Osiris, 
Isis, and Horns are too well known to require explanation. 
It may be interesting to add here, that the Hindu TriniQrti 
has been also explained as a representation of the three 
great powers of nature exemplified by the earth, the water, 
and the fire, and that the Indian sect of the Sauras revere 
the rising meridian and setting sun, corresponding to 
Brahman, Siva and Visnu respectively, as symbol of the 
TrimQrti. Similarly well known is the migration which 
the souls of the deceased Egyptians had to undergo to 
expiate the crimes they had committed while alive, until 
they could regain their human body and be united with 


Osiris. In fact this final union with and absorption in 
Osiris shows a strikinec resemblance to the absorption in the 
Brahmanic Paratman or the Buddhistic Buddha. As I do 
not believe Buddha to have been an Aryan Indian, this 
question is of importance. It is highly probable that these 
Indian dogmas did not originate with the Aryans of India, 
and that they can be traced back directly or indirectly to 
those ancient countries. It is also possible that because 
these doctrines were not previously unknown in India, they 
could be more easily spread in this country for the 
vast majority of the Indian population belonged to the 
same race as did the ancient Akkadians and Chaldeans. 
It seems to me to be a matter of great regret that while 
the antique religious and civil history of India have often 
been discussed, no notice has been taken of the bulk of its 
population ; in consequence the results of the researches on 
these points have not been very satisfactory. 

On Brahman. 
The legends concerning Prajdpati and Brahman have 
often a striking resemblance, and the latter occupies even- 
tually the position of the former. Brahman was born in a 
golden egg and arose from the waters. At the time of the 
deluge he assumed the form of a fish, and as a boar he 
raised the earth from the waters. To him belonged origin- 
ally the name of ISTarayaria, which was afterwards applied 
to Visiju. As creator he became the head of the Trimurti, 
a dogma probably unknown to Yaska, but already discussed 
at the time of Buddha, though finally developed at a sub- 
sequent period. His colleagues in the trinity, expressed 
by the mystic syllable Oto, are Visnu and Siva. These 
three gods are respectively regarded as the representatives 
of the three natural qualities (gunas), sattva, goodness, rajas, 


passion, and tamas, darkness. Brahman represents rajas, 
the creating power, Visnu preserves by sattva, goodness or 
indifference, and Rudra or Agni filled with tamas person- 
ates time or the destroyer. Yet, as creation involves pre- 
servation and destruction, and as each is indispensable to 
the other, true Brahmanism does not admit that any one 
member of the trinity is superior to the others. No man 
should attempt to create a division between the three gods, 
who does so, goes to Hell. Indeed some go further and 
assert that whichever of the three is Visnu, is at the same 
time Siva and Brahman, and that any one of the three gods 
reciprocally includes the remaining two.'' 

In consequence of his abstract origin and philosophical 
appearance and through his position of creator. Brahman 
always lacked the popularity which was enjoyed by his 
more attractive colleagues. In the Mahabharata, however. 
Brahman is still the creator of the world, he is eternal, 
sacred, and omniscient ; he teaches, advises, and governs 
the gods. He regulates all institutions and arranges the 

" Compare such well known verses as : " Avayor antaram nasti sabdair 
anyair jagatpate," or " Sivaya Visauriapaya Sivarnpaya Tispave," or : 
Tvani evaDye Sivoktena margena Sivariipinam bahvacarya vibhedena, 
Bhagavan, samupasate (Bhagavata). 
See also Bevihhagavata, III, 6, 54 — 56 : 

hi. Ye vibhedam karisyanti manava miidhacefcasah, 
nirayam te gamisyauti vibhedannatra samsayah. 

55. Yo Harih sa Sivah saksat yah Sivali sa STayam Harih 
etayor bhedam atisthan narakiSya bhavet naralj. 

56. Tathaiva Drnhino jueyo natra karya viearana, 

aparo gunabhedo'sti srijn Tisno bravJmi te. 
One of the three qualities prevails in each god, the other two are sub- 
ordinate ; thus rajas does prevail in Brahman, sattva in Visnu and tamai 
in Siva. Compare ibidem, si. 57 and 66. 

57. Mukhyalj sattvagunab te'etu paramatmavicintane 
gauiiatve' pi parau khyatau rajogunatamoguaau. 

66, Mukhyah tamogunaste'stu gaunau sattrarajoguaau (applying 
to Siva). 
See further ibidem, slokas 32, 39 and 44. 


rules concerning sacrifice and penance, marriage and caste, 
and tlie position of kings and subjects. 

Notwithstanding that Brahman was originally superior 
both to Visnu and to Siva, who as Eudra sprang, according 
to a legend, from the forehead of Brahman, the adherents of 
these gods deny his supremacy. Yet, it is difficult to arriye 
at a final decision on this subject as the legendary evidence 
is so defective. Brahman is thus represented as rising 
from the lotus which grew from the navel of Yisiju, while 
the worshippers of Siva contend that Brahman was created 
by Siva, that he acted as Siva's charioteer and worships 
Siva and the Lihga. At another time he interfered in a 
dispute between Visnu and Rudra, and persuaded the 
excited gods to allow Siva a share at the sacrifices. The 
Prajapatis, whose names and number are variously recorded, 
are known as his mind-born sons, and appear to be identical 
with the ten Maharsis. These latter are mentioned as the 
progenitors of men while the Purusasukta gives another 
account of this subject. 

T^tlc, Speech, his daughter, became the object of his 
love and as Sarasvatl his wife." In fact this sinful attach- 
ment of Brahman became the doom of his supremacy, 
and caused the ascendancy of Visnu and Siva. By gazing 
intently at his charming daughter, he obtained five heads, 
but lost the topmost for this unchaste love by the hand of 
Siva, and is henceforth called the four-faced or caturmukha. 
His four heads, each of which wears a crown, are also 
explained as corresponding to the four Vedas. On his fore- 
head he has the mark of musk (kasturi) ; in his h airlocks 

' SarasvatJ is described in revTbhagav.ita III, 6, 31 — 35 and in IX, 
1,29 — 37. Another wife of Brahman SnTifrt is by some regarded as the 
deified sacred prayer which is known as the Gayatn (Bgveda III, 62, 10); 
about Savitri read also DevibhSgavata IX, 1, 38 — 43. Sarasvatl is called 
in the Vaijayanti, p. 3, line 18 : Vag Vani BhSratf Bhasa Gaur Gir Brahmi 


he wears strings of pearls, in his four hands he wears 
respectively the Veda, a sacrificial ladle, a rosary, and an 
earthen waterpot. His colour is tawny. He sits on a 
lotus, and rides on a swan. Many names are given to 
Brahman and according to his worshippers he also possesses 
a thousand names. « I need not add that these legends 
are also explained from an esoteric standpoint. 

With these few remarks concerning the earlier accounts 
of Brahman, I shall now pass to his present position. 
Many of the legends concerning all these three gods of the 
Trimurti are of ancient origin, while others certainly point 
to a more modern invention. In some cases it may be 
possible to explain their source and to account for their 
raison d'etre. As India has since time immemorial been 
chiefly peopled with two races, the Gauda-Dravidian and 
the Aryan, we need not wonder that, when these two began 
to intermix, each became acquainted with the religious 
beliefs of their neighbours and adopted in a more or less 
modified form some of their gods and dogmas. This circum- 
stance explains the fact why so many Gauda-Dravidian 
elements are fonnd in the modern Hindu worship. 

And such an influence we can also trace in the modern 
worship of Brahman. I have previously mentioned that he 
lost his fifth face on account of his unnatural conduct 
towards his daughter, but later legends contend, that it was 
at the instigation of Parvati, who could not distinguish 

" In the Vaijajanti, p. 3, are given the following lines: 
Brahma Vidhata Visvatma Dhata Srasta Frajapatili, 
Hiranyagarbho JDruhiiio Viriiioah Kali Caturmukhali, 
Padmasanah Surajyesthali Cirajivi Sanatanalj, 
Satanandah Satadhrtilj Svayambhulj SarTatomnkhah, 
ParamesthI Visvaretali Puruso Hamsavahanah. 
Other names are : Abjayuni, Aja, Ananta, Atmabhii, Caturvaktra, 
Jagatsrastr, Jnanin, Kamalayoni, Kamalasana, Lokakartr, Lokakrt, 
Lokesa, Padmaja, SarTalokakrt, Savitripati, Vara, Vidhi, Visvasrj, Vedhas, 
&c. The Buddhists call him also Satampati. 



Brahman from her own five-faced husband^ or because 
Brahman told a lie. He is therefore now generally repre- 
sented with four faces. ^ The Skandapurana relates that 
Siva cursed Brahman for his untruthful assertion of having 
seen the end of Siva, and for producing in confirmation of 
this lie a Ketaki flower as a witness. The original judg- 
ment that Brahman was henceforth nowhere to be wor- 
shipped was on Brahman's appeal mitigated, and his 
worship was allowed on all auspicious occasions, and at all 
initiatory ceremonies and Soma sacrifices.^" 

Present Woeship op Beahman. 

In consequence of the disgrace he incurred, as is now 
generally averred, or perhaps owing to his abstract and 
unapproachable position as creator. Brahman does not 
receive anything like the attention which is paid to Visnu 
and Siva. There exists also a proverb among the people 
that a man who has no house, says : "I have no house like 
Brahman." On the other hand it is a peculiar circumstance 
worth mentioning that the principal festival of every temple 

" See beginning of note 16, on page 207. 
'" The curse was : Yatrakutrapiloke'smiu apiijyo bhava, padmaja. 
This was modified to : 

?!ubliakaryesu sarvesu pratidiksadliTaresu ca, 
Piijyo bhava, oaturvaktra, madvaco nanyatha bharet. 
In consequence Brahman is revered as guardian of the sacrifice at all 
yagas, vratas, marriages, funerals and annual ceremonies during the pre- 
liminary ceremonies. The real proceedings begin after Brahman has been 
worshiped with the words Brnlnmnam trnm rniimah?. The Brahman 
who acts as Brahman is provided with a seat, and betelnut, flowers, sandal 
and cloths are presented to him, but no incense is burnt in his favor, nor 
are lamps lighted, nor eatables presented, nor are fans, umbrellas, camphor, 
mirrors or flags alloi\ed. The presence of Bi-ahman who must be represent- 
ed by a Brahman who knows the A'eda, is necessary in order to superintend 
and help the Puruhita in the correct recital of the mantras and the 
np-keep of the fire. In fact Brahman is the guardian of the sacrifice. 

Siva also cursed the Ketaki flower, but this curse concerns only Siva, 
for the flower is still worshipped in honor of Yisnu, Laksmi, and even of 


is called Brahmotsava. It is moreover -wrong to assert 
that Brahman is only revered in one place in the whole of 
India^ i.e., near the Puskara lake in Ajmere. The local 
legend there says, that the god Brahman left once his 
Satyaloka to perform a sacrifice in this mundane region, 
but forgot to invite his consort Sarasvati, Enraged at 
this discourtesy, she did not follow her husband. When 
Brahman had finished all the necessary preparations, and 
was ready to perform the Saiikalpa, while the gods and 
Esis stood before the sacrificial fire, he observed to his sur- 
prise that his wife was not present. As the priests refused 
to go on with the sacrifice, because Brahman had not his 
wife by his side. Brahman requested Indra to fetch, as 
quickly as possible, an unmarried girl to take the place of 
his wife. Indra returned with a Sudra girl, whom Brahman 
purified by letting her pass from the mouth through the 
alimentary canal of the celestial cow Kamadhemi. He then 
called her Gayatii, made her his partner and performed 
the sacrifice. Opposite to the temple of Brahman lies a 
large and deep tank, whose waters arc credited with 
miraculous qualities. If the shadow of a woman falls 
during her menstrual period on the waters of this tank 
ipushara) , it turns red and keeps this colour until purified 
by mantras. Brahman is in this place worshipped by his 
thousand names and the same formalities which are observed 
in the temples of "Visnu and Siva are also adhered to in this 
temple of Brahman.* ' 

' 1 This report was communicated to me indirectly by a Brahman 
who had visited Pushkar. See Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan by 
Lieut.-Colonel James Tod, London, 1829, Vol. I, pp. 773—75. " Poshkur is 
the most sacred lake in India; that of Mansiirwar in Thibet may alone 
compete with it in this respect. By far the most conspicuous edifice is the 
shrine of the creator Brihma. This is the sole tabernacle dedicated to the 
One God which I ever saw or heard of in India. The statue is quadriferous 
and what struck me as not a little curious was that the sikra, or pinnacle 
of the temple, is surmounted by a cross." Read also the Bajputana 


It is very peculiar that this renowned and ancient place 
of worship is connected like the temples at Melkota, Puri, 

Gazetteer, Vol. II, pp. 07— 71, which contains a full description of the 
legend ; from it I have extracted the following ; " Pnshkar is a celebrated 
place of pilgrimage, and the great sanctity of its lake equalled, according 
to Colonel Tod, onlj' \ij that of Manusarowar in Thibet, is due to the 
belief that here Brahma performed the yajnci, and that the Sarasvati here 
reappears in iive streams. The legends connected with these two beliefs 
maybe found in the Fushkar Muhatmya oi the Padma Purana. Brahma 
was perplexed as to where he should perform the sacrifice according to 
the Yrdas, as he had no temple on earth like other deities. As he reflect- 
ed, the lotus fell from his hand, and he determined to perform his sacrifice 
wherever it fell. The lotus, rebounding, struck the earth in three places. 
Water issued from all three, and Brahma, descending, called the name of 
the place Pushkar, after the lotus. (The holy ground extends for one 
i/oj'ai/' round the largest lake, called Jyesht Fvshkar. The second lake is 
the Madhya Fushkar, near the tank, now called Suda Bai. The third lake 
is the Eanisht Puslikar, which is now generally called Burka Pushkar. 
The middle lake is very small, and there arc no buildings round it or 
round the third lake.) Brahma then collected all the gods, and on the 
11th day of the bright half of Kartik, everything was ready. Each god 
and rish i had his own special duty assigned to him, and Brahma stood 
with a jar of amrit on his head. The sacrilice, however, could not begin 
until SSvitri appeared, and she refused to come without Lakshmi, Parvati 
and Indrani, whom Pavan had been sent to summon. On hearing of her 
refusal, Brahma became enraged and said to Indra : "Search me out 
a girl that 1 may marry her and commence the sacrifice, for the jar of 
aun-il weighs heavy on my head." Indra accordingly went, but found 
none except a Gujar's daughter whom he pm-ified by passing her through 
the body of a cow, and then, bringing her to Brahma, told what he had 
done. Vishnu observed—- Brahmans and cows are in reality identical ; 
you have taken her from the womb of a cow, and this may be considered 
a second birth.'' Shiva added that, as she had passed through a cow, she 
should be called Gayatri. The Brahmans agreed that the sacrifice might 
now proceed, and Brahma, having married G.ij atri and having enjoined 
silence on her, placed on her head the jar of umrit, and the yajna com- 
menced. (The image of Gayatri may be seen in the temple of Brahma, 
close to that of Brahma himself.) The sacrifice, however, was soon inter- 
rupted by a naked man ^vho appeared crying ' Atmat ! Atmat ! ' and who, 
at the instigation of Shiva, threw a skull into the sacrificial ground. When 
it was attempted to rcmo\-c the skull, two appeared in its place, and the whole 
ground gradually becanje eo\ered with skulls ; till Shiva, at Brahma's 
request, finally agreed to remove them on condition that he should have a 
temple at Pushkar, there to be worshipped under the name of Atmaheswar. 


and Trivandrum witli the lower classes, and that the 
Pokharna Brahmans are according to tradition Beldars, who 

Meanwhile a number of Brahmans, all ugly men, arrived from the Dakhln. 
As they bathed in the lake, their forms changed iuto those of handsome 
men; and the ghat at which they bathed, called Suriip Ghat, is the resort 
of pilgrims on the lltli day of Kartik. On the morning of the 12th day 
the Brahmans came to Brahma and asked where they were to bathe. He 
directed them to bathe in the Priichi Sarasvati, the stream which passes 
by the village of Hokran ; and it is explained how the Sarasvati, after 
disappearing underground to escape the heat of the fire which she is carry- 
ing to the sea, reappears in five channels (as Suprahha which falls into 
Jyesht Pushkar, Sudha which falls into Madhya Pushkar, Kanka which 
falls into Kanisht iPnshkar, Nanda which flows past Kand, and Prachi 
which passes by Hokran), in the sacred soil of Pushkar, how two of these 
meet at Nand, five miles from Pushkar; and how from the junction, the 
river, thereafter called the Luni, proceeds to the sea. The sacrifice was 
disturbed this day by Batu Brahman, who let loose a, snake among the 
Brahmans. The reptile coiled itself round Bhrigu Eishi, whose son 
imprecated a curse against Batu that he might become a lake. Batu, 
going to his grandfather Brahma, was consoled by the promise that he 
should be the founder of the ninth order of snakes, and was directed to 
go to Kagpahar, where he should receive worship on the fifth day of the 
dark half of Shwan at the place called the Nagkand. The sacrifice pro- 
ceeded till the 15th each day having its appointed duties ; for this day the 
Brahmans were directed to make a circuit of the lakes and to bathe in 
Gayakup. (The virtues of the tirth of Gaya are said to reside in this 
place, whence the name.) Shortly after their return Savitri appeared, 
greatly incensed at the disregard which had been shown to her. Brahma 
sought to pacify her, but to no purpose, and she went away in a rage to 
the hill north of the lake where is her temple. Alter the yojna performed 
by Brahma, Pushkar became so holy that the greatest sinner, by merely 
bathing in it, went to heaven. Heaven became inconveniently crowded, 
and the gods complained that no longer any man regarded them or his 
duty, so easy was it to get to heaven. Brahman agreed accordingly that 
the tirtli should only be on earth from the 11th day of Kartik to the full 
moon, and for the remainder of the year he promised to remove the tirih 
to the air {antariksha). Such is the legend given in the Pushkar Mahat- 

Bead also the short account about the temple of Brahma at Pnshkar in 
the Indian Caste by Dr. John Wilson, Bombay, 1S77, Vol. I, p. 170. " The 
Brahmans don't directly compromise themselves by taking care of the 
temple (which in point of fact is under the charge of Gosavis) ; but they 
lay claim to a share of the offerings at the shrine. The four faces of 
Brahma on the image are uniform, but they have a lengthened chin in the 


obtained in return for excavating tlie sacred lake at Push- 
kar or Pokhar the favour of the god and the dignity of 

Brahman has still a small but separate temple in Benares, 
and though there are very few temples in Northern India 
in which Brahman is now worshipped, there are not a few 
places in Southern India which possess temples dedicated 
to Brahman, and where he and his wife Sarasvati receive 
similar honors as are offered to Visnu and Siva. 

This is the case for example with the Brahma temple at 
Cebrolu in the Krishna district, which, as I am informed, 
was erected in imitation of the Brahma temple at Jayapu- 
ram ov Brahmagaya, a place which is without doubt identical 
with Pushkar. The construction of the present temple at 
Cebrolu is ascribed to the once powerful Rajah Yasireddi 
Vehkatadri Nayudu, Zamindar of Cintapalle, who resided 
both at Amaravati and CebrOlu, and in whose time the 
ruins of the celebrated Buddhist shrine were first discovered 
at Amaravati. The temple at Cebrolu is situated near a 
pit called Brahmagunda. A'ehkatadriin the hope of finding 

place of a beard. The temple is exteriorly associated with an image of 
Shiva with four visible heads placed on a Linga, and must therefore be 
principally frequented by votaries of that God." 

'^ Seo Dr. .T. Wilson's Indian Cusle, II, p. 1(1. "The tradition of 
their origin is singular ; it is said that they were Beldiirs, and excavated 
the sacred lake of Pushkar or Pokhar, for which they obtained the favour 
of the deity and the grade of Brahmans, with the title of Pokharpa. 
Their chief object of emblematic worship, the Klxoiloln, a, kind of pick-axe 
used in digging, seems to favour this tradition." Compare also the Haj- 
putann Gazetteer, Yol. II, p. 70. " They (the BrahmauB of Pushkar) say 
they are descended from Parasar, the father of the Veda Vyasa, and that 
like the Mathura Chaubes, their names were omitted when the list of the 
ten Brahmanical tribes was drawn up. They trace their descent, however, 
through one Bopat, and the general belief is that this Bhopat was a Mer. 
Brahmans will not eat with these men, who are found only in Pushkar and 
in a few of the neighbouring towns of Marwar. They arc generally called 
Bhojal- in the papers which have been given by the Rajas on the appoint- 
ment of Purohits." 


a treasure began to excavate it, but being disappointed 
in Ms expectations converted the pit into a water reservoir 
or Korieru, in tbe midst of whicli be built after his return 
from Kasi (Benares) the temple of Brahman, on the model 
of the one he had seen at Jayapuram. He dedicated it to 
CatiirmvMia Brahma LlhgesvarasvUmi, the last name being 
added as the temple was erected according to the Siva 
Agama, because the AgamaSastras do not contain measure- 
ments for a temple of Brahman. The original name of the 
pit Brahmagunda appears to favor the idea that previ- 
ously to the erection of the temple by Verikatadri Brahman 
had been worshipped in this district. As the Raja died 
before the commencement of the first year's ceremony, his 
death was regarded as a bad omen, and only daily offerings 
are made and lights are kept in this temple, but no peri- 
odical feasts or car festivals are observed. Venkatadri is 
said to have been under a curse for having treacherously 
beheaded 150 Centsu chiefs whom he had invited to a feast, 
and the immense sums of money he spent on charitable 
and religious purposes, he regarded as an expiation of his 
atrocious sin.^^ 

1' Cebroluia also called Catarmuhhipuram. This name lufers to Brah- 
man, but cannot be explained to mean " the city facing the four points of 
the compass" as Mr. Gordon Mackenzie states in his Manual of the Kistna 
District, p. 203 ; see sXsoihidem, pp. 301 — 13. 

1 am indebted for the following description to Mr. G. Campbell, Sub- 
Collector, Guntnr, dated the 15th December 1890 :— " I was at Ohebrolu 
" yesterday, and had a look at the temple from the edge of the l-nnia in 
" which it stands. The temple is quite a small square building, and is in 
" a neo-lected condition. Only one out of the four Dhvajastambas is 
" standing, and that looks very tottery. This is a rough plan, the square 
" beino- the kunta with the temple in the middle, outside being the eight 
"little shrines to the Dikpalakas. As far as is known □ 

" here this and the Brah'magaya temple are the only □ H □ 

' da 

" Brahman temples in India. a 

Mr. G. Campbell kindly enclosed a report of the Cebrolu temple, 

which had been submitted to him by the late M.R.Ey. D. V. Chelapati 

Eow Deputy Tashildar of the Ponnur Division. The following is taken 


An old and still used temple of Brahman exists in Kala- 
hasti in the North Arcot district, I visited it in January 
1886. On the top of the mountain over the temple stands 
a fourfaced statue of Brahman. Popular tradition declares 

from this report i — " Popular legend states that dnring the energetic 
" days of Bajah Vasireddi Venkatadri Naidu he had determined to get rid 
" of a tribe of Chentchus who pillaged his Zamindary, and so inviting 150 
■' of the tribe to a feast, he had them all beheaded in the Port at Chinta- 
" palli. Remorse overwhelmed him for his treachery, and whenever he sat 
" down to his meal the grain turned into insects. In order to remove 
" this curse he went on a pilgrimage to Benares and other sacred places, 
" built temples, erected numerous pillars before various shrines, besides 
" mating charities. He made Chebrole his second residence, Amaravati 
" being the iirst. At this place (Chebrole) there had been a small pit 
" called Brahmagundam, about which was said to have been buried gold 
" grains of immense quantity and a Bhairava idol was fixed to guard the 
" treasure. He (the Zamindar) made excavations for the hidden treasure 
" to considerable extent, and havhig at the end been disappointed, he 
" converted the pit, including the Brabmaguiida, into a reservoir called 
" Koneru, and in the middle oonstruoted a temple dedicated to the worship 
" of Chaturmukha Brahma Lingesvarasvami as such a temple had no exist- 
" ence elsewhere in this part of the country, and he gave the name of 
" Chaturniiikhapuram to the place which has had several other names, 
" viz., Chebrole, Jayabrole, Tambrapani. The idol is of the following 
" description: The Lingam was first fixed in a red Chintamani stone most 
" beautifully carved in the form of a lotus (kamalam) of 1,000 petals, 
" underneath which is a raised seat called Peetam. On four sides of the 
" Lingam four separate Brahma images equal in size and equal in all other 
" respects were carved ; each image has two legs and four hands. Of the 
" four bauds two are empty, while of the other two, one contains a garland 
" (japamala) and the other a tumbler (kamandal). The Lingam is about 
"three inches higher than the Brahma images. The temple has four 
" gates. On the four sides and corners of the reservoir eight small temples 
" were built for the worship of the following deities : 1. North, Venu 
" Gopalasvami, and his .-\mmavaru. North-cast; 2. South, Ranganayakulu, 
" and his Araniavaru Xanohari, South-east ; 3. East, Chandramaulesvara- 
" svami, and his Ammavaru, South-east ; 4. \V'est, Sahasra Lingesvara- 
" svami, and his Ammavaru, North-east. (Mr. Campbell assigns these 
" 8 temples to the Dikpalakas, Avhich is very possible.) The Ammavaru 
"temples are falling down and the pillars of gilt fixed on the four sides 
" of the Brahma temple are in ruins. The temple has an endowment 
" of Ac. 29, 90 Ch. The title deeds bear the name of Chaturmukha Brahma 
" Lingesvarasvami. The worshippers are Pujaris and worship Bi-ahma with 


that this hill is really the Sivanandanilaya, the highest 
peak of the Kailasa, which Brahman transferred in ancient 
times to Kalahasti. Of the four faces of Brahman the one 
which looks towards the south has fangs instead of teeth. 

" Namakam, Chamakam and with Sivanamamuhi after the Smarta fashion. 
" No kind of periodical and oar festivals are celebrated except making 
" daily offerings and lightings, &c. The non-oelebration is said to be due 
"to the bad omen, as the Zaraindar who constructed the temple and the 
" car at a great cost having died before the commencement of the first 
" year's ceremony. 

" I hear there is another Brahma temple at Jayapuram in the north. It 
" is called Brahmagaya, The temple there is said to be in a tank. 

" Brahma images similar to those at Ohebrole were carved on a Lingam 
" and worshipped. Yenkatadri Naidu appears to have built the temple 
"after he had seen the one at Jayapuram when he went to Benares on 
'' pilgrimage and named the place Chatnrmukham, meaning Brahmapuram. 
" I doubt therefore that Chaturmukhapuram means the city facing the 
"four points of the compass, as Mr. Mackenzie calls it.'' (I had intimated 
this previously as my opinion in a letter to Mr. Campbell.) 

" The addition Lingesvarasvami to Brahma appears to have been added 
" for the following reason. Temples are built according to the Agama 
" Sastram, which treats of the measurement of the several temples. This 
" Sastram is of four sorts with regard to Siva, Vishnu, Sakti and 
" Ganapati. No Agamam is known to exist which treats of measurements 
" regarding temples dedicated to Brahma, and hence no temple of such 
" sort has been constructed; but Venkatadri Naidu having the vanity to 
" excel the other Rajahs in charity and iu the construction of temples, con- 
" structed this temple partly arbitrarily and partly with Siva Agamam and 
" made the addition Lingesvarasvami to Brahma. " 

It is probable that there was originally at Cebrolu an old Brahma 
temple, and that Venkatadri rebuilt this shrine to revive the worship. 
With respect to the temple at Jayapuram, whose construction was imi- 
tated by the Rajah of Cebrolu, it is not cigar which Jayapura (Jaipur) 
is meant. There is a well known town of this name in the Vizagapatara 
District, and another rather more famous place of the same name lies iu 
Rajaputana not far from the above-mentioned Pushkar in the Ajmere Dis- 
trict where the famous Brahma temple is situated. This temple is most 
probably the one alluded in the above printed report. 

It must also not be forgotten that a Brahma temple exists at Benares 
and that Veiikatfidri visited this town previously to his building the Brahma 
temple at Cebrolu. His death prevented that a special Brahma worship 
was introduced, and was the cause of the adoption of the Smarta cere- 
monial. Raja Vasireddi Venkatadri Nayudu died in 1816. 



Special priests perform daily the prescribed worship in this 
Brahmadevalaya whose idol goes by the name of Manikar- 
nikesvara . 

In Kuttanur near Mayavaram the temples of Brahman 
and Sarasvati face each other, and Brahman priests wor- 
ship these two gods as Visnu and Laksmi, or Siva and 
Parvati are adored in their respective pagodas, A big 
temple of Brahman, I am told, exists at Tiruvannamalai and 
one devoted to Sarasvati as Manamhika i's, &t Tiruvalur.i* 
Vedaranyam possesses likewise a temple dedicated to the 
same goddess. Brahman's image occupies an honored place 
in the temple of Kodumudi near Erode, at Tirukkandiyur 
near Tiruvadi, in the Uttamarkovil near Srirangam, at 
Salyamangalam and Kila A'aluttur near Aiyampettai in the 
Tanjore district, at KumbhakOnam and elsewhere. Some 
contend that there is an image of Brahman in every temple 
of Siva at the place where the purified water, poured out 
over the head of Siva, or over the liiiga inside, escapes 
through the channel.^'' 

On the Bkahmabhdta. 

Among the population on the West coast, especially 
among the Tulus, where the devil-worship prevails, Brah- 
man is not only revered as a god, but also as a spirit or 
Bhuta. In fact all castes worship him, and he is universally 
adored ; he has in reality his special place of worship in 

1 * This shrine at Tiruvaliir must not be mistaken for that dedicated to 
Kamalamba, which belongs to the Tyagarajasvami temple, within whose 
precincts is also a famous well, known as Sarasvatttirtham. 

' ' A temple covered in the sand near the confluence of the Kaveri and 
Amaravati not far off from Karnr, is by some ascribed to Erahman, by 
others to Siva. According to a legend the god Varadaraj asviimin in 
Kaiicipuram arose from the flames of a sacrifice performed by Brahman 
over the Hastisaila, on which the present garbhagrha stands. 

I am indebted for a great part of this information concerning the wor- 
ship of Brahman in South India to my former pupil and young friend 
Mr. Nadadiir V. Desikacaryar, m.a. 



nearly every big landed estate. At Sirvaj Brahman is 
represented witli four heads, his image is about 2 feet high 
and is made of Pancaloha or the iiye metals, gold, silver, 
copper, tin and lead. He rides on the goose or hamsa in the 
usual position, one of his hands holding a water jar, while 
the other has a rosary or japamald, and the two remain- 
ing are folded on the chest and contain the Salagrama, 
The officiating Brahman or bhatta enters the temple daily 
after his bath with a water jar and pours the water over 
the image. He then fills, while muttering the usual mantras, 
the holy sankha with water and sprinkles the latter over the 
image. This done, he puts sandal and a garland on 
the head of the idol and offers some cooked rice to the god. 
These ceremonies occupy about three hours. The evening 
service is the same but only shorter, it lasts about two hours. 
The neighbouring Brahmans and Sodras celebrate every 
year a great festival, during which the image of Brahman 
is carried about within the precints of the temple and a 
special puja is performed.' ^ 

' " The Eev. Oh. Gojar at Sirva near Udapi, gave the following in- 
formation to Rev. Gr. Bitter who sent me this report in German through 
the Rev. F. Kittel ; — " Eine halbe Stunde westlich von Sohirwa steht in 
einem Thai, Warasare genannt, ein Tempel, in welohem ein Bild Brahmaa, 
der 4 Gesiohter hat, angebetet wird. E asselbe ist gegen 2' hoch and besteht 
aus Pantschaloha. Brahma sitzt da auf dem Vogel Hamsa. Zwei seiner 
Hande hebt er zar Aohsel empor, in der einen ein Wassergefass, in der 
andern einen Bosenkranz (Japamala) haltend. Die beiden andern Hande 
hat er vor seiner Brust gefaltet and halt zugleioh darin den heiligen Stein 
(Salagrama). Der dienstthuende Brahmane (Bhatta) geht taglich nach 
seinem iibliohen Bad mit einem Wassergefass in den Tempel und giesst 
das Wasser iiber das Bild. Dann fiillt er, wahrend er Shastras hersagt 
seine heilige Mnsohel {shaiika genannt) mit Wasser und sprengt dasselbe 
anf das Bild. Hierauf legt er etwas Sandalholz (mehl ?) und einen Bin- 
menkranz auf des Gotzen Kopf und setzt ihm eine Portion gekochten Beises 
vor. AUes dies nimt jeden Morgen 3 Stunden in Anspruoh. Den Abend- 
dienst, der dem des Morgens fast gleich ist, abaolviert er in 2 Stunden. 
Ansserdem kommen die Tempelvorsteher, die benaohbarten Brahmanen 
und auoh eine Anzahl Shudras alljahrlioh einmal bier zu einen Feat zusam- 


The Brahma-image in the temple at Kufijar has only 
three faces, and is therefore regarded by some as a repre- 
sentation of a Brahmabhuta. 

The Brahmabhuta must not be confounded with a Brah- 
marahsasa, the latter being the evil spirit of a dead Brah- 

Wherever the divine nature of Brahman prevails, Brah- 
mans perform the worship, even dancing at his service, while 
low caste persons generally dance in honor of the Brahama- 
bhutas. The festival of the superior Brahman is called a 
mandala, while that of a Brahmabhuta or of every bhuta is 
known as ahula. Thedrawing onthe floorfor suchamandala 
consists of black, white, red, green, and yellow colours and is 
made by the Jakkedakulus who occupy in consequence at 

men. Bei dieser G-elegenheit wird das Brahmabild in Tempelhof herumge- 
tragen nnd ein besonderer Puja (Anbetung) wird verrichtet. 

" Solche Brahmabilder iinden sich ini Udapi-bezirk; noch einige, z. B., 
in Kanjar, Bolle, Nandolige, &c. Doch ist zu bemerkeu, dass z. B. das 
Bild in Kanjar nur 3 Geaichter liat, und daruni mehr als Brahmaihuta 
betrac'litet wird. Der berunter gescUagene 4te Kopf des Brahma, so 
wird erziiblt, babe zu Parameshvara gefleht, der ibm dann rieht auf die 
Erde herabzusteigen und sieb den Bbutas auzuscbliessen. So seien die 
Brabmabhutas entstandeii. Ein solcber bat menschlicbe Gestalt und 
reitet auf einem Pferd ein Schwert in seiner recbten Hand haltend. Er 
wird tiigiich von Brabuianen, aber auch von Sbudras angebetet. Die 
Sbastras, die dabei gebraucbt werden, sind aber verscbieden von denen, 
welcbe man fiir den Brabnia-Gott benutzt. Es wird ibm nur ungekochter 
Reis vorgesetzt ; aber auch sein Kopf wird mit Sandelbolz und Blumen 
bestreut, auch wird Rauchwerk vor ibm verbrannt. See Note 20 on p- 303. 

" Ausserdem gibt es Brabuiabilder die von den Riscbis berstammen 
Eollen, und darnm regelmassig verehrt wcrdeii. Ferner finden sich da 
und dort gestaltlose Brabmnsteiiie, bci welcben jedocb kein tiigliober 
Dienst stattfindet ; z. B., J Stunden westlicb von TJdajii ist ein solcher 
Btein, zu wolobem viellcicbt das Jahr einmal ein Tisbnubild gebraoht und 
dort verebrt wid. Sie sind nieist mit Nnga-steinen vereint und werden 
nie fiir dcu Brabmgott, sondern nur fiir Brabmabhuteu angesehen. 
Auch in den gewobnliclien Bhutatempeln findet eich der Brahmabhuta, 
genannt Bernic. 

"Als Grund der Veiehrung das gestiirzten Brahms wird geltend gemacbt. 
das die altei Rishis gleichfalls nacb seinem Fall ihn anbeteten." 


present a respectable position, but who were originally 
Holeyas or Paraiyas. Everything else for the maijdala is 
done by Brahmans, A Brahman becomes possessed of 
Brahman and to him he vouchsafes his oracles. The offering 
or ball consists of fruits and various condiments. Brahman 
is addressed as Svami Bermere, and not like the other gods 
as Svami Devere. The people pray to him as follows: 
We have been remiss in thy worship, spare us ; remove gra- 
ciously from us all evil, give us health for our body, increase 
our wealth in the house and on the field. The Brahman 
then makes his puja, and recites the following mantram : 
" Uddi ! I revere the sunlike, three-eyed Narayana, who is 
shining with the ornament of the serpent-prince, who is 
honoured by the skull held in his hand, who is armed with 
a chisel and a white lotus, who has anklets provided with 
golden bells and who is facing (me), the lord of the Bhotas, 
who removes fear^ has four faces and is called Brahman,*^ 

" ^' JJddi, hhaslcarasannihham trinayana-}ti nardyanavi nagendrahhusoj' 
jvalam hastddattalcapalamahitam ivetahjatahkayudham Tcancanalcihkininupu- 
ritasanTYiukhwm hhuteiam bhayaharam- caturdnanwm hrahTudhhidhdnam 

Eev. M. Schaible writes from Karkal : " Ueber den Ursprung ties Brahma, 
im Volksmnnde Berme, wegeri seiner Verwandtsohaft mit den Nagas oft 
auch Naga-Brahma genannt, sagen die Leute : in alten Zeiten hatten 
Brahma and Shiwa 5 Angeaichler besessen. Um ihrer Aehnlichkeit willen 
sei einstens Schiwas Weib, Farwati, einmal bei ihrem Erscheinen in einer 
Gbtterversammlung in grosse Verlegenheit geraten, da sie, ausser Stande, 
ihren Gemahl und Brahma von einander zu nnterscheiden, nicht gewusst 
habe, zn welchem TOn beiden sie sich setzen solle. Schiwa, der ihre Ver- 
legenheit und den Grund derselben erkannte, hieb, nm ihr ins kiinftige 
derartiges zn ersparen, dem Brahma ein Haupt ab. Als dieses hieranf 
den Schiwa iiber die Art and Weise seiner Weiterexistenz um Eat und 
Hilfe anging, erhielt ea die Weiaung sich unter seine Ganas zu begeben, 
auf die Erde zu gehen, die Menschen zu plagen und so sich seinen Unter- 
halt zu verschaffen und seine Fortexistenz zu sichern." 

" Brahma geniesst allgemeine Terehrung von alien Kasten. Die Leute 
halten ihn fur den Urheber von Augenentziiudnng Hautauschlag und 
hauptsiichlich von Kinderlosigkeit. In Nandolige und Mala hat er zwei 
grossere Tempel, doch stehen dieae ihrer Grosse nach in keinerle, 


The worsliip of Brahman and his eventual absorption into 
a Brahmabhuta shows the influence which the aboriginal 
inhabitants of India exercised over the Aryan invaders. 
Brahman becomes half god, half bhota; he is regarded as 
Such inferior to a naga, but superior to the common bhuta. 
A legend asserts that the fifth head of Brahman, after being 

Verhaltniss zn anderen grossen Hindutempeln. Sonst finden sich kleine 
Tempelchen, Brahmasthfina oder Bermeregunda genannt auf dem Gute 
nahezu jedes grogseren Gutsbesitzers, der oignen Grand und Boden hat. 
In dem Nandolige Tempel findet sich kein Bild, in dem in Mala dagegen ist 
Brahma aus Stein gehauen, in Menschengestalt anf einem Pferde reitend 
dargestellt. Die iibrigen fast zahTlosen kleinen Tempelchen enthalten 
entweder ebenfalls Brahma in Menechengestalt, oder aber auch nur einen 
rohen oder nur ganz oberflachlioh behanenen Stein, Bei dem Nandolige- 
Tempel hndet jahrlich im Zusammenhang mit einem Bhuten und einem 
Gbtzenfest ein grosseres Fest statt, zu dem Leute von nahe und fern 
gewallfahrtet kommen um dem Brahma ihre Geludbe, die sie ihm in den 
Tagen der Krankheit gelobt hatten, zu entrichten. Sonst findet an jedem 
Bankranti ein Puja statt. In dem Mala-Tempel wird taglich Puja gemacht, 
das am Preitag einen etwaa feierlichern Character triigt. Die gleiohe 
Ordnung fand ich in Mudar, wo dem Brahma, der dort ganz im Freien 
kampirt, und bloss in einem wenig behauenen Granitstein dargestellt ist, 
ebenfalls taglichen Dienst verrichtet wird. In den oben erwahnten vielen 
kleinen Tempelchen wird nur alle Monate geopfert ; nur im Monat Sona 
taglich oder einige Male in der Woche. Beim Puja wird eine Lampe 
angezundet, Blumen, Eeis und Sandelholzpulver vorgesetzt. Seinem Wesen 
nach ist dieser Brahma halb Gott, halb Bhuta. Er steht niedriger als die 
Kagas und hbher als die Bhutas. In seiner Eigenschaft als Gott kann nur 
der Brahmane ihm Puja machen und ergreift er bei Festlichkeiteu nur 
von diesem Besifcz, aber nie von einem andern niedern Kastenmann. 
Wahrend dem Bhuten ein liola, wird dem Brahma ein sogenanntes Mandala 
oder Barmadahali dargebraoht. Die Zeiohnung zu diesem Mapdala hat 
eine ursprunglich niedere, jetzt aber duroh ihreu Dienst zn Ansehen 
gekommene Kaste (die Jakkedalculii) auf dem Boden vor dem Tempel zu 
entwerfen, wobei 5 Farben, schwarz, weiss, rot, griin und gelb zur Verwen- 
dung kommen. Das Uebrige bei dem Mapdala kann nur ein Brahmane 
besorgen, von dem der Brahma Besitz ergreift und dann Orakel gibt. Das 
hali besteht in einer Darbringung vou Friichten und versohiedenen 
Gewiirzen. Beim Gebet zu diesem Brahma sagen die Leute: ' Wir fehlen 
gar viel in deiner Verehrung, verzeihe. Wende gnadig alles Uebel ab, 
gib Gesundheit dem Leib und mehre den Reichthum im Eaus und anf 
dem Feld.' Die Anrede lautet nicht wie bei den Gbttern — Svami devere 
Bondern Svami hermere, 


cut off, prayed to Paramesvara, who advised it to descend 
to the earth and to associate with the bhotas. According 
to a Tulu tradition the present Brahman (Bermere, Berume, 
Baruma, Berma or Bomma) is only a portion of Brahman 
united with the serpent god {naga devaru). Siva is said to 
have been jealous because Brahman had four faces and 
eight eyeSj while he had only three. He therefore cut off 
one of these four heads, and when this head asked him 
what he should do, Siva told him to unite itself with the 
serpent [ndga), torment mankind and to extort thus offer- 
ings from them. In Badakay Lokanad Brahman's head 
appeared first as a naga, and there it was worshipped. 
When I was visiting the Buddha temple at Kotahenu, a 
suburb of Colombo, I saw a figure of Brahman with three 
heads which I originally took to have four heads, the fourth 
being behind and thus of course invisible, But the temple- 
servant particularly declared that Brahman had only three 
heads, one representing the past, the other the present^ and 
the third the future. ^ * This legend I heard also confirmed 
by other Ceylonese Buddhists. At Kandy in the Maligava 
Temple or the Shrine of the Sacred Tooth is a picture of 
Brahman as Mahahrahmaraja, or as king of heaven — known 
as Brahmaloka or Satyaloka. ^ ^ He has only one head, and 

1= Tivata is one of the Ceylonese names of Bratman. Its meaning and 
derivation are not clearly known. It can be connected with the Sanskrit 
words trivrtta (trivrt) and trivaktra. The High Priest of Adam's Peak 
and President of the Vidyodaya College in Colombo, Hikkoduwe Suman- 
gala Terunnanae, thinks that it is derived from trivrtta, and explains it as 
denoting Karmavrtta, Klesavrtta and Vipal-avrtfa. If vata stands for 
vaktra, trivaktra would mean three-faced. 

^' According to Hindu cosmology there exist fourteen worlds, seven above 
and seven below the earth. The highest and best world Satyaloka is 
under the rule of Brahman, and is therefore also called Brahmaloka, while 
it is at times also assigned to Siva and then named Sivalbka ; the Kiirma- 
purana identifies Brahmaloka also with a Visnuloka. The lowest and 
worst world is Patala, it is under the rule of Tama, and hence also known 


one-headed he also appears in the neiglibouring Mahadevale 
temple. Biesdes the statue of Buddha there are in this 
shrine the images of Visuu and oE Siva, respectively on the 
left and right hand side of the entrance door, and a one- 
headed Brahman is painted standing on the left side on the 
wall near Buddha. On my asking for an explanation, I 
was told that this one-headed Brahman represents the 
present time. The existence of a one-headed Brahman is 

as Tamaloka. The eeven nether worlds are I . Atahi,2. Vifalci,S. Sutala, 
4. Rasatala, 5. Talatala, 6. Mahdtala and 7. Patnla, (the 4th, 5th and,6th 
hells are also respectively called 4. Xitala, 5 Dharatala and Mahatala, and 
6. Talatala). It is perhaps worth noticing that also other sects, e.g., the 
Muhamraedans believe in the existence of seven hells. The seven upper 
worlds are 1. BhUrloin, the earth, occupied l)y men, 2. Bhuvarlolta, the 
space between earth and sun, occupied by Munis, Siddhas, &c., 3. Suvar- 
loka (Svarloka), or Devcdoka, between the sun and the polesfcar, or Dhruva, 
heaven of Indra with the 330,000,000 gods. The Visimpurana calls it the 
abode of Tisnn, where Dharma, Dhruva and the Yogis reside. 4. Mahar- 
loha extends one krore of yojanas beyond the polestar, residence of Bhrga 
and of other sages, who survive the annihilation of the three lower 
worlds, 5. Janaloha (Jandloka) occupied by the mind-born sons of Brah- 
man as Sanandana, the Ksis, and the demigods. 6. Tapololca is the resi- 
dence of the Vairagis, and 7. Satijaloka (Brahmaloka) is the abode of 
Brahman, whoever reaches this heaven is exempted from further birth. 
The first of these three upper worlds are destroyed at the end of a Kalpa 
or a day of Brahman, though the fourth outlasts the kalpa, it remains 
uninhabited during the conflagration raging below, for no one can endure 
the heat and its occupants repair to the next or Janoloka. The last three 
are annihilated at the end of the life or the 100th year of Brahman. The 
Devibhagavata (IX, III, 8, if.) contends that the Erahmripda contains 
the seven nether and the seven upper worlds, which at the time of a 
general destruction become a watery bubble. The A^aikuntha and Goloka- 
heavens, which lie beyond the Brahmauda, and are eternal, remain intact. 
Each of these fourteen worlds is 50,000,000,000,000,000 miles long and 
25,000,000,000,000,000 miles broad. The fourteen worlds occupy therefore 
a space of 17,500 Quinquillions of square miles. The mountain Mahameru 
passes through all these 14 worlds. There are besides seven immense seas. 
The Mahameru together with the fourteen worlds is carried by the eight 
elephants I Airavata, Pundarika, Viimana, Kumuda, Anjana, Puspadanta, 
Sarvabhauma and Supratika, and by the eight serpents : Ananta, Vasuki, 
Daksa, Taksaka, Karkoiaka, Sajiga, Kulika and Mahapadma, but instead 
of these eight serpents some mention only the one thousand-headed Sesa, 


rather surprising, if we consider that Brahman as Brah- 
mabhuta is represented with one head, and that this Maha- 
devale temple, though Buddhistic in all other respects, 
contains Hindu gods, which may perhaps have been im- 
ported by non-Aryan Indians. The old Tamil rulers of 
Ceylon compelled thus their Buddhistic subjects to erect 
a shrine of Subrahmariya or Kandasvami (Kanda) near 
every Buddhistic temple, and this custom is observed to 
this day. 

The naga devaru is worshipped like this Brahman, but 
must not be confounded with Subrahmanya {Subraya 
devaru) who is likewise revered under the image of a 
serpent- ^ " 

Brahman is among the Tulus regarded as the cause of 
eye-disease, skin-disease and childlessness, he is even 
feared as the originator of all evil, but also adored as their 

'° Eev. Jacob Goetz wrote thus from Karkal ; — " Dor Sira Gott sei einst 
dariiber neidisch geworden, dass der Brahma Gott 4 Gesichter somit 8 Augen 
hahe, -wahrend er ihrer nur 3 besasse, nnd habe ihm desshalb einen Kopf 
abgesohlagen. Ala ihn dann dieser abgeschlagene Kopf gefragt habe, waser 
denn nun anfangen soUe, dann habe ihm dieser Siva geautwortet, er soUe 
aich mit dem Naga, der Schlange, vereinigen, die Menschen plagen und sioh 
von ihnen Gabon nnd Opfer bringen lassen. So sei er denn als Schlange 
(Naga) zuerat im Badakay Lokanad aufgetretu und verehrt worden, 
welter wurde ihm dann auchin Mala am Fusse der Ghata und in Nandolige 
ein Tempelchen (Bermere guncia) gebaut. Anoh privatim wird er Ton 
alien Kasten ohne Dnteraehied verehrt und zwar mehr in der Art einea 
Bhuta ala einea Gottea. Auch versieht den Tanz oder Dienat meiat nur 
ein Brahmine, wahrend bei den gemeinen Bhutas meiat nur geringere 
Kaaten sich zum tanzen und sprechen hergeben. Daa Feat, das ihm zu 
Ehren gefeiert wird, heisst wie das dea Naga Mandala, wahrend daa Feat 
eines Gottes Jyajia heisst, nnd daa eines Bhiita i'oZa. Sein Bild ist daa 
eines Menachen mit einem 7 fachen Schlangenkopfe iiber seinem Haupt 
andere sagen es seien diea matted and twisted hair. Der gewohnliche 
Naga devaru, der in deraelben Weiae auch ohne Verbindung mit diesem 
Brahma verehrt wird, ist nicht zu verwechseln mit dem Subraya Devaru, 
der auch unter dem Bild der Schlange, aber eigentlioh ala Gott 
verehrt wird." See note on p. 298 about the statue of Brahman in Kanjar. 



A BrahmabliQta has human form, and rides on horseback 
holding a sword in his right hand. His head is covered 
with matted and twisted hair, which is by some taken as 
a head of seven snakes. Brahmans as well as Sodras pay 
him daily worship, but mantras addressed to him differ 
from those offered to Brahman. Uncooked rice is present- 
ed to him, his head is covered with sandal and flowers, 
and incense is burnt to him. 

The Brahma temple at Mala contains a big stone image 
of Brahman riding as a man on horseback. Wliile there 
is no such figure in the temple at Nandolige, the innumer- 
able smaller temples in the country contain either such 
images, or in their stead rude or roughly hewn stones. 
A great festival of Brahman is yearly celebrated at Nan- 
dolige among a huge conflux of people. Crowds throng to 
this temple to thank the god, and to offer him the presents 
they had promised him in the days of their distress or 
sickness. There is also divine service or a puja at every 
Sankranti. In the temple at Mala, Brahman is daily 
worshipped, and the service on Fridays is specially cere- 
monious. In the smaller temples (Brahmasthana or Ber- 
mere gunda) worship is celebrated once a month, but 
during the month of Sona, the service is either daily or on 
certain days of the week. 

There exist also images of Brahman which are traced back 
to the Rsis and which, out of respect for them, are regu- 
larly worshipped, especially as the E.sis adored Brahman 
even after his fall. 

Besides these images of Brahman there are the well- 
known Brahma-stones, which must not be forgotten. They 
are found in great numbers in Kanara, especially among 
the Tulu population. Such stones are generally rude and 
unhewn. They are as a rule not daily worshipped, but at 
the granite stone at Mudar near Karkal, Brahman is daily 


revered in the same manner as in the Mala temple, eight 
miles east of Karkal. Once a year the image of Visnu is 
carried to a similar stone, which lies about three miles from 
Udapi. The castes of the Barikeras and Talavaras have a 
peculiar custom, They draw a circle with pipeclay about 
half or a foot in diameter and make in the middle of it a 
point©. This point represents Brahman. All people are 
requested to pour oil on this stone, and to offer to it cocoa- 
nuts : in short they honor it with divine worship. Stones 
lying near the gates of a village or of a town, or which 
belong to such gates, are generally thus marked. The 
Rev. Mr. Kittel informs me that he has also seen this 
Bomma (Brahma) mark drawn on rocks near inhabited 
places. Such Brahma-stones are often combined with 
Naga stones and are therefore rather representations of 
BrahmabhQtas than of Brahman. ^i 

The Brahma-stones are no doubt connected with the 
stoneworship in vogue among the Gauda-Dravidians, to 
which I have already alluded when speaking of the Kurum- 
bas and Knnbis.^ ^ In the riding BrahmabhQta I recognize 

"^ The Bev. F. Kittel of Meroara, to whom I am indebted for 
most of the information obtained from Kanara, writes to me : — " Aua 
Slid Mahratta erbat ich mir einen genauen Bericht iiber Brahma von 
einem befreundeten alteu und intelligenteu Bingebornen. Seine kana- 
resisohe Antwort lautet in tjbersetznng wie f olgt. ' Die Kasten der 
Barikeras und Talavaras zeichnen (mit einer Art Pfeifererde) einen Kreia 
von etwa einem halben bis ganzen Fuss im Durohmesser auf einen rohen 
Stein, und machen eben damit einen Punkt in die Mitte, so ®. Dies tbun 
sie, um den Gott Brama oder Bomma (cJ. i. Brahma) darzustellen, und 
fordern so alle Leute auf, ihm anf den Stein 01 zu giessen, Kokosniisse zu 
opfern, &o., kurz ihm gottliche Terehrung zu erweisen. Hauptsaohlich 
zeichnen sie die obige Form des Bomma auf Steine, die gerade vor dem 
Thore eines Dorfes oder einer Stadt liegen oder sioh im Thore selbst 
befinden, oder in nicht welter Enteferung vom Thore liegen. Ausser den 
zwei obengenannten Kasten zeichnet keine die Gestalt des Bomma.' So 
weit der Eingeborne ; ioh selbst habe diesen Bomma auoh an Felsen in 
der Nahe von Ortsohaften angemalt geaehen." 
" See pp. 189, 235. 


a resemblance to the Kliandoba (Khande Eao) of the 
Maratha country, who in his turn is most probably iden- 
tical with the Aiyanar of Southern India. Of the latter 1 
shall speak hereafter. The identity of these chief popular 
deities, if confirmed, goes a long way to prove from a reli- 
gious point of view the national coherence of the principal 
aboriginal tribes of India, and this result is so important 
because it coincides all along with the already adduced 
philological evidence. 


On Visnu. 

Visnu represents in contradistinction to the more abstract 
nature of Brahman, the bodily incarnate deity to which 
men cling with fervour in times of affliction and despair. 
He became in fact the popular god of post Vedio India. 
Many tribal deities which resembled him, and which had 
been in reality mostly only deified heroes, were united in his 
worship and appeared eventually only as attributes among 
the thousand names by which he is worshipped. The cult 
of Siva offers a similar example. Visnu is an instance of 
a god of originally secondary importance rising to supreme 
dignity, because the Brahmanical priesthood required a 
god round whom the people could gather, as a counterpoise 
against the propagation of Buddhism. This being the case. 
Buddhism must have preceded Vaisijavism. 

Visnu, the second person of the Trimurti, appears, as we 
have already seen, as a deity in the Eg- Veda, and though 
in a subordinate position, yet he is called the intimate 
friend of Indra, whom he joins in the fight against Vrtra, 
and with whom he drinks the Soma-juice. He is also often 
associated with Pusan, anothei- Aditya. He performed the 
celebrated three steps, and is in consequence called Tri- 
vikrama. Through this action Visnu is identified with the 
sun. SakapQni explains these steps as referring to the 


sun's three-fold existence in the earth, in the atmosphere 
and in the sky, but Aurnavabha prefers to explain them as 
referring to the hill where the sun rises, to the meridian 
sky, and to the hill where he sets. The three aspects of 
the Egyptian sun-god bear thus some resemblance to the 
steps of Visnu. In fact, Visnu is a solar deity or an Aditya, 
or one of the six, seven, eight, or twelve sons of Aditi. He 
appears on this earth at critical moments in various shapes, 
as a fish, as a tortoise, a dwarf, &c. Some of these divine 
manifestations are already mentioned in the Yeda, and are 
there ascribed not to Yisrju but to other gods, e.g., to 
Prajapati and to Brahman, but they have been eventually 
tranferred to Visiju. When Brahman's supremacy was 
declining, the ascendancy of Visnu increased. He was 
thus identified with the Supreme Spirit, and Brahman and 
Mahadeva are regarded as having originated from him. 
However, in a different place he is called an offspring of 
Mahadeva, and appears sometimes as his friend, at others 
as his enemy. Manifold are the stories told of Visnu, but the 
goodness of his disposition is the principal characteristic of 
most. He pervades and preserves the whole of Nature, 
and his essence fills at his pleasure every object, in fact he 
is everywhere. He appears in each different yuga in a 
different garb, in the Krtayuga as the wise teacher Kapila, 
in the Treta as punishing Gakravartin, in the Dvapara as 
the Veda-dividing Veda Vyasa, and in the Kali as the order 
re-establishing KalM. Nothing is in this respect too small 
or insignificant for him. He honors with his presence the 
Salagrama-stone as well as the Tulasi plant; he descends 
into the Gariga river as well as into common animals like a 
fish, a boar, or a tortoise ; he is personated by a dwarf or 
a monstrous creature as well as by men of the highest merit, 
like Parasurama or Eama, the son of Dasaratha. All these 
various shapes he mainly assumes in order to save mankind 
from impending evil. As the world is often in danger of 


becoming a prey to bad and unscrupulous spirits, be they 
demons or men, Visnu has to appear repeatedly in various 
disguises to frustrate their evil intentions.^ ^ 

Brahman is only rarely incarnated, the Brahmans are 
regarded as his principal representatives on earth. Later 
legends ascribe to Siva various incarnations to the number 
of twenty-five, and though these seem to be invented to 
counterbalance those of Visiju, they do not equal them in 
importance, for the manifestations of Siva are less known 
and less influential than those of Visi;iu. Different expres- 
sions are also used to distinguish between the incarnations 
of the three great gods of the Trimurti, the terms vibhuti, 
avatdra and lllu being respectively used for those of Brah- 
man, Visnu and Siva.^ * Indra, Vayu, Agni, Sesa and other 
gods have assumed the forms of other persons, yet these 
personations do not reach the high level of the avataras of 
Visnu. Comparable with the descents of Visnu, however, 
are those of Buddha, who, though afterwards figuring 
among the incarnations of Visnu, claims to have appeared 
in many forms before he was born as a king's son in 
Kapilavastu. Regarding, as I do, the rise and success of 
Buddhism as mainly due to the antagonism existing 
between the ruling Aryan and the oppressed Turanian or 
Gauda-Dravidian population, it strikes me as by no means 
improbable that the incarnation doctrine may in India 
have originated among the Gauda-Dravidians independently 

" See Devlbhagavata, III. 6, 39-40. 

39. Tada yadS hi karyam vo bhavisyati duratyayam, 
karijyati prthivyam vai avataram tada Hareh. 

40. TiryagyonSvathanyatra manuslm tanum asrtali, 
Danavanam vinasam vai karisyati Janardanalj. 

' * According to the following passage from Brahmandapurana : 
Parasakteh prabhSvena Brahmavisnuaivadayah 
isvara jagatah sadhye svakarmaByacaranti hi ; 
Brahmapalj sarjanam karma Yispoh palanam ucyate 
sarhharah tatra Eudrasya vibhiJtir Brahmanalj smrta 
Avatarah tatha Visnoh Illah Sambhor udlritali. 


of any Aryan influence, as we see it at a very early period 
appear among the kindred Akkadians on the shores of the 
Persian Gulf. 

To Visnu are generally attributed only ten avataras, but 
this number was soon exceeded, and twenty-four or even 
a greater number of incarnations were eventually ascribed 
to him. In fact as innumerable as are the creatures of the 
creation, so innumerable also are regarded the manifesta- 
tions of Yisnu. I believe, however, that the original number 
was ten, and that the remaining fourteen must be regarded 
as additions. The order in which thsse different divine 
descents appeared, is manifest from the various readings 
of the Slokas which enumerate them. One stanza runs as 
follows : 

Matsyah KQrmO Varahasca Narasimhasca Vamanah. 

Ramo Ramasca Ramasca Krsno BuddhO Janardanah. 

Others read after Ramasca : Krsnah Kalkir Janardanah, 
or Buddah Kalkika eva ca, or Buddhah Kalki ca te dasa, etc. 
The first stanza omits Kalki, the second Buddha, and the 
third and fourth omit Krsna.^^ As the Kalki or horse- 
avatara is the only manifestation of Visnu which is yet to 
come, we may perhaps be allowed to assume that its con- 
ception originated at a later period than the tradition 
which omits it. 

' ^ These ten avataras are generally known as the fish-, tortoise-, boar-, 
Narasiriilia-, dwarf-, Parasurama-, Rama-, Balarama-, (Kisna-), Bnddha- 
and horse-avataraa. 

These minor or upa-avataras are the following : Sanaka, Sanandana, 
Sanatsnjata, Sanatkumara, Naranarayana, Kapila, Visabhayogin, Narada, 
Hayagrlva, Dattatreya, Mohini (orMaya), Yajnapati, Vyasa and Dhanvan- 
tari. Some of the avataras are as it were localised. According to the 
Visnupurana Tisnu resides in the country of Bhadrasva as the horse-headed 
Hayasiras, in Ketumali as the boar Varaha, in Bharata as the tortoise 
Kiirma and in Kuru as the fish Matsya. In the Jatindramatadipikd of 
Srlnivasacarya, a pupil of Doddamahaoarya (Madras edition, p. 44) the 
number of the avataras of Tisnu is fixed at 36 (padmanabhadayo' pi sat- 
trmsadavatarah santi). 


There is no doubt that the first two incarnations have 
a cosmological meaning ; the third ^ ^ is perhaps of the 
same nature, or, as it had two different versions, may with 
the fourth and fifth allude to the fights between the gods 
and the asuras, or rather to the attempts to firmly establish 
the worship of the Aryan deities in India by subduing the 
aborigines and superseding their religion. The avatara of 
Parasurama indicates the contention between the religious 
fervour of the Aryans and the brute force of the aboriginal 
races. I prefer this explanation to the accepted tradition, 
according to which the priestly Brahmans exterminated in 
war the Aryan warrior caste of the Ksatriyas. Rama, the 
son of Dasaratha, represents the extension of Aryan power 
and civilisation from the North to the South of India. 
Balarama and Krsna show the high state of development 
attained in political and religious fields degenerating into 
civil dissension ; and in Buddha we have the strife trans- 
planted to religious ground caused by the popular reaction 
against Brahmanic priestcraft, which reaction, however, was 
not successful in the end. Such a historical explanation of 
the order of the avataras of Visnu will, if proved to be 
correct, approximately settle the time of the origin of this 
Vaisnava doctrine. By mentioning Buddha as the last 
incarnation of Visnu, this dogma must have been conceived 
considerably after his time, when the belief in the power 
of Visnu was in the ascendant. A similar view has already 
been expressed by Lassen in his Indische Alter thumshunde. 
According to the Vaisuava belief Visnu assumed the decep- 
tive appearance {Mayamblia) of Buddha in order to lead by 
his wrong teaching the Daityas astray from the path of the 
Vedas and then to destroy them. 

2" According to one legend Visnu as a boar lifts the sinking earth from 
the overflowing waters, while according to another he delivers it from the 
asura Hirapyaksa, who had seized the earth and carried it to the bottom 
of the sea, 


Of late another, a cosmogonic explanation of the avataraSj 
has been attempted, in imitation of the Darwinian theory 
of development, beginning with the fish, tortoise, boar and 
man-lion, progressing from the human dwarf to the brutal 
man of violence, then to civilised warriors, till it ends with 
religious dissension. 

But if the avatara of the fish is considered, as it usually 
is, to be the first of a series, it presents another important 
aspect, for it may supply us with a terminus a quo for begin- 
ning the history of the Aryans of India. 

On the Deluge. 

The legend of the deluge in which the man Manu alone 
is saved by a fish, that had come into his hands while 
washing them, occurs first and in its most ancient and 
simplest form in the Satapatha Brahmana.''' ^ Manu saved 
the fish which promised to rescue him from the impending 
danger arising from a flood, which was to sweep away all 
living beings. He first put it into a jar, and as the fish 
was growing fast, he dug a trench and placed it in it, and 
finally he carried it into the sea, where it was out of danger. 
The fish told Manu the year when the flood was to come, 
advised him to build a ship in which he was to embark, and 
promised to save him. When the flood eventually arose, 
Manu embarked in his ship, the fish swam towards it, and 
Manu fastened the cable of the ship to the horn of the fish 
which guided it over the Northern mountain, where Manu 
bound it to a tree. With the subsiding flood Manu 
descended and the mountain was called Manu's descent 
{Manor avasarpanam) ; the commentator identified this 
mountain with the Himavat or Himalaya. As Manu alone 
was saved and desired offspring, by means of his sacrificial 
rites he produced after a year a woman, Ida, and from 
both these sprang the offspring of Manu. 

-'See Satapatha Brahmaua, I, 8, 1. 



The later legend related in the Vanaparvan of the 
Mahabharata identifies this fish with Prajapati Brahman, 
who appeared to Mann Vaivasvata in the shape of a fish 
on the bank of the Ciri^ir and asked to be preserved. Manu 
placed it first in a jar and afterwards ia a large pond, then 
in the Ganges, and lastly in the sea. When the time of 
the final dissolution arrived, Manu embarked with the seven 
Rsis and with the seeds recommended of old by Brahmans 
and fastened the floating ship to the horns of the fish, 
which took the ship to the highest peak of the Himalaya, 
which peak was afterwards known as Naubandhana. Pra- 
japati Brahman, who had assumed the form of a fish, then 
commanded Manu to create all living creatures, gods, asuras, 
men, &c. 

While the account of the Satapatha Brahmana does not 
refer to an incarnation of any deity, the Mahabharata 
mentions Brahman as having assumed the form of a fish, and 
the subsequent reports substitute Visnu instead of Brahman. 

The Matsya Purana makes Manu the son of the Sun, 
speaks of a general dissolution at the end of the Caksusa 
Manvantara, and mentions Malaya (Malabai-) as the place 
where Manu underwent his penance. Manu receives for 
his penance from Brahman the promise of becoming the 
preserver of all things, movable and immovable, and a 
Prajapati at the end of the general dissolution. Manu 
placed the Saphari (carp) fish which came with the water 
of the Krtamala into his hands successively in a pitcher, a 
well, a lake, the Ganges and the Ocean. The fish being 
recognized by Munu as Janardana (Visnu), promises Manu 
a ship constructed by the gods, in which he was to embark 
and to convey into it all living creatures in order to save 
them. This ship is eventually fastened to the horn of the 
fish by the serpent Ananta acting as a rope. 

According to the Bhagaviita Purana an occasional dissolu- 
tion happened at the end of a Kalpa, when Brahman was 


asleep and Hayagriva, the prince of the Danavas, carried ofi 
the Vedas, which had issued from the mouth of Brahman. 
Hari (Visiiu),on discovering this calamity, assumed the shape 
of a Saphari fish and appeared in the hands of Satyavrata, 
the lord of Dravida, who underwent austere penance. 
This Satyavrata represents Manu Sraddhadeva of the 
present Kalpa. The fish was transferred from a waterpot 
to a large well, a pond, then to various lakes, and finally 
to the ocean. Hari announces to Manu that after seven 
days the three worlds, the earth, air and sky would be sub- 
merged under the ocean, and that when this dissolution was 
impending, he would send a large ship to Manu in which 
the latter was to embark, taking with him all plants, seeds, 
the seven Rsis and all creatures. The tossing ship was to 
be fastened to the horn of the fish, the big serpent Ananta 
serving as a rope, and the fish was to draw the ship over 
the ocean, while the night of Brahman was lasting. Satya- 
vrata when on board of the ship, heard the divine explana- 
tion of the true doctrine of the soul, and Hari restored the 
Vedas to Brahman at the end of the dissolution after slay- 
ing Hayagriva. 

The Aguipura^a, which has in its description of the 
Matsya-avatara a great resemblance to the Bhagavatapu- 
rana, relates that the sleep of Brahman produced the 
occasional dissolution of the world, when Manu, the son of 
Vivasvat, was performing his penance in the Krtamala river. 

The legend of the deluge is common to nearly all the 
human races of the earth, with the exception of the black 
inhabitants of Africa and of Polynesia, a fact which assumes 
greater significance, if we remember that the disappearance 
of the continent Atlantis is often ascribed to the deluge, 
and that this continent is assumed to have been situated 
between Austral-asia and Africa. In Europe we find it 
among the ancient Greeks, the Celts, the Scandinavians 
and the Lets ; in Asia it was known to the Syrians, Jews, 


Phoenicians, Phrygians, Chaldeans, Assyrians and Indians ; 
in America we meet it among the Greenlanders, Koloshes, 
Mexicans and Brazilians. This circumstance, however, 
is not conclusive evidence that all these traditions refer 
originally to one and the same fact, or that they started 
independently, as no connection exists between one and the 
other. The fact that an ancient author, when writing the 
history of a country, incidentally mentions that a great 
flood happened at the same time, or previously to, or later 
than another event he is speaking of, is no proof that the 
country, whose history he is writing, was inundated by the 
deluge. The Biblical report is undoubtedly a bond fide ac- 
count of an alleged universal deluge, yet, in spite of this, it is 
possible, yea even probable, that the so called Biblical deluge 
was only local, but regarded universal by the writer of the 
sacred record owing to his limited geographical knowledge. 
Even in our days, when news is quickly spread all over the 
world by means of telegraphic communications, it would be 
difficult to ascertain at once the extent of a great calamity 
which has befallen a distant land beyond the sphere of in- 
ternational contact ; how much more difficult must it have 
been in ancient times to obtain reliable information owing 
to the exclusiveness and ignorance of the people then living. 
If all the country known to a man is afflicted by an inun- 
dation, it is only natural that he should regard such a flood 
as universal. We know indeed of some inundations, which, 
in reality, only local, have been afterwards regarded as uni- 
versal, e.g., the great flood connected with the name of 
Ogyges is ascribed by some to the rising of the waters of 
the lake Kopais in Boeotia.^® Similar examples are fur- 

" Ogyges is regarded as the son of Poseidon, or of Boeotos, as tlie hus- 
band of Thebe, and the oldest king of Atliens. Others call him a Boeotian, 
a king of the Hektenes and founder of Thebes. The name Ogyges is some- 
times explained as being connected with the Sanskrit ogha, flood, 



nished by the inundation which, caused by the river Hoang- 
ho, devastated China in the reign of the emperor Yao, and 
also by the flood which, owing to the Punzha overflowing 
its banks, swept over the plain of Bogota in South- America. 
Many legends of deluges which we find both among modern 
and ancient nations, can be traced back to the Biblical or 
Chaldean record, but there are others whose origin it has 
not been possible to trace as yet. 

It is very doubtful, whether Egypt was ever overwhelmed 
by the deluge. In a fragment generally, though perhaps 
wrongly ascribed to Manetho of Sebennytos, the high 
priest of Egypt, who compiled and translated into Greek, at 
the behest and for the information of his sovereign Ptole- 
maios Philadeiphos, the hieroglyphic records of his country, 
it is mentioned that the inscriptions engraved by ThCth, the 
first Hermes or Hermes Trismegistos, upon the Seriadic 
columns, were after the deluge translated from the sacred 
dialect. 2^ The fragments of his important work on the 

" See Ancient Fragments of the Phainician, Chaldean, Egyptian, Tyriaii, 
Carthaginian, Indian, Persian, and other writers, by Isaac Preston Oory, 
Second Edition, London, 1832, pp. 168, 172. These columns in the Seriadic 
country (SiypiaSiic); 77)) said to have been written by Tiioth, the first Hermes, 
in hieroglyphics before the deluge and afterwards translated into Greek 
and deposited in the adytum of the Egyptian temples by Agathodaimon, 
the son of the second Hermes, remind one of the two columns which the 
Judaike Archaiologia oiFl&vias Josephup, I, .3, ascribes to the righteoup, 
sons of Seth, and which were erected to preserve for ever the knowledge 
these good men had acquired, in case the general destruction of all things 
la<pavi(riJ.hs tuv iXuv) which Adam had foretold, should take place. To 
ensure the preservation of all scientific lore, it was twice separately en- 
graved on two columns, on one of brick and on another of stone, so that 
if the water should destroy the former, the latter would remain intact. 
And owing to this precaution one of these columns was still extant in the 
time of Josephus in the Siriad (Syriad, Sirid or Seriad) land. 

These columns have been the subject of much discussion. Plato refers 
to them in his Timaios, and allnsions are contained in the book of Enoch 
and elsewhere. The association of this legend with Egypt dates, however, 
of a far later period, and the above given version ascribed to Manetho is 


dynasties of Egypt, which are still preserved, do not, how- 
ever, contain any allusion to the flood, a circumstance 
which makes it doubtful whether the deluge touched Egypt. 
Manetho even if he wrote the passage above alluded to, 
which is very doubtful, may have introduced the deluge 
into his history and borrowed it from foreign sources to 
fix approximately the date of certain events. 

The most interesting, the most iraportant and the most 
ancient of all the deluge reports are those contained in the 
Bible and in the Chaldean records, which though not 
strictly agreeing with, closely resemble each other. We 
possess the Chaldean account in two versions. The older 
and original document was found among the tablets which 
king Assarbanhabal caused to be inscribed, for fear that 
the ancient records he possessed might be destroyed in 
course of time. He made therefore on twelve tablets 
copies of the scientific and literary remains, and the 
eleventh tablet contains the account of the deluge. This 
king Assarbanhabal reigned from 660 to 028 B.C. The 
Greeks turned his name into Sardanapalos and applied it 
to another sovereign. The other report we owe to Beros- 
sos, the Babylonian priest of Bel, who, in the times of 
Alexander the Great, translated the temple records into 

probably a forgery of the fourth century. It is still a peculiar circum- 
stance that a similar legend is ascribed both to Thoth and to Seth, repre- 
sentatives respectively of two hostile races, the latter being revered as a 
god by the conquering shepherd kings and brought to Egypt, and even- 
tually regarded there by the Egyptians as the wicked arch-fiend of 
Osiris. May this coincidence not be ascribable to original identity of tra- 
dition, a fact which was afterwards forgotten or misrepresented owing to 
national rivalry and hatred ? 

Professor Dr. Jos. Lauth in his Aegyptische Chronologie refers, however, 
on page 41 to a deluge legend of On (Heliopolis) : " Dazu kommt, dass 
dieses erste Jahr der Herrschaft dem Mena mit seinem mythischen Vorgan- 
ger, dem Horusdiener Bytes Sthodiarchos gemeinschaftlich war, und 
dass der Text des Bulager Papyrus eine alte onitische Tradition iiber die 
P!it(?i behandelt," 


Greek, fragments of which translation were preserved by- 
later Byzantine writers. 

These tablets were first discovered and partly translated 
by the late Mr. George Smith. His English translation, 
corroborating in many places the Biblical account, attract- 
ed a great deal of attention ; later on the Assyrian descrip- 
tion appeared, in an amended form, translated into French 
by Professor Julius Oppert.^o 

Adrahasis, the son of Otiartes, the Xisuthros^* (thus 
formed by metathesis from Rasisu-adra) of BerOssos, was 
the tenth and last of the ancient Chaldean kings of Baby- 
lon, ^ 2 as Noah was the tenth and last of the Patriarchs 
before the deluge. According to the tablet-account the 
Chaldean hero and prince of Erech^^ is pursued with 
spiteful hatred by the goddess Istar (Astarte), as she 
could not gain his affection. She afflicted him with an 
unclean disease, and he went to the immortal Xisuthros, 
who lived at the distant mouth of the rivers, and asked his 
advice in order to become purified and regain his health. 
"While dwelling with him, Xisuthros is requested to relate 
the story of the deluge. He says that when he was living 
in the ancient town Surippak, on the banks of the Eu- 
phrates, the gods decided to overflow the earth, in order to 
destroy men, whose iniquity was increasing. With the 

' ° See George Smith ; Translation of the Creation Tablets and J, Oppert : 
Le Poeme Chaldeen du deluge, Paris, 1885. 

• " The various readings of Xisuthros are Sisuthros, Seisuthros, Zisuth. 
ros and Zieitliros. 

= ' These ten sovereigns are in the extract of ApoUodoros from Berossos 
named : Aloros, Alaparos, Amelon, Ammenon, Megaloros, Daonos, Eue- 
dorachos, Amempsinos, Otiartes and Xisuthros. See Cory, pp. 83, 31. 

= ' Erech, the modern Warka, the Greek Orchoe. The prince of Erech 
is called Istubar or Gisdhubar, and Mr. Pinches of the British Museum has 
lately discovered that the phonetic reading of Gisdhubar is Oilgames 
which name has been changed into Thilgamos in De natiira animalium 
(Tcpl iduv i5i<iT7)Tos,), XII, 21 of Claudius Aelianus. 


exception of Ea-Un, the master of the Deep, all the gods, 
with their chiefs, Ann,, Bel and Ninip, were unanimous in 
this decision. But Ea-Mn, the Greek Okeanos, whom 
Berossos transforms into Kronos, communicated in a dream 
the intention of the gods to Adrahasis, advised him to 
construct a ship, big enough to contain his family, friends, 
servants, and all sorts of animals with the necessary provi- 
sions to support them. Berossos fixed the rising of the 
flood on the fifteenth day of Daisies, and Xisuthros is 
advised in the same account to compile a history of every- 
thing existing and to bury this account in the city of the 
Sun in Sippara, which corresponds to a certain extent with 
Surippak.3* Adrahasis or Xisuthros does as Ea-kin (or 
Kronos accoi-ding to Berossos) has advised him, builds a 
ship, whose dimensions are distinctly given, ascends it with 
his wife, children, and friends, and the surging waves lift 
the ark and float it over the surface of the earth. For six 
days the storm and rain lasted, but, on the seventh in the 
morning, the tempest abated, the sea became calm, and the 
ship was stopped by the mountain Nizir. For seven 
further days Adrahasis remained there, then he despatched 
a pigeon, which returned to him, so also did the swallow 

' * It is doubtful whether the names Sippara and Surippak are identi- 
cal or belong to different places ; if the latter is the case, both must have 
been very near each other. Considering Akkadian to have been a Tura- 
nian language nearly related to the Gauda-Dravidian, in which the meta- 
thesis is of frequent occurrence, as I have already mentioned in the philo- 
logical remarks on p. 5, Surippak and Sippara could have been identical, 
as are Madura and Marudai. Sippara has been identified with the Biblical 
Sepharoaiiii. The legend of the buried books has given rise to the popular 
conjecture of deriving the name Sippara from the root sipni, the Hebrew 
sepher, a book. The legend of the Siriadic columns mentioned by Manetho 
and by Josephus (see p. 315, note 29) resembles to a, certain extent the 
story told by Berossos. Can Seriad be in some way connected with Surip- 
pak ? It is also curious that the Egyptian Heliopolis corresponds to the 
Chaldean Sippara, or city of the Sun (Samas), and that the Hermetic 
books of Thoth find an analogy in the books of Xisuthros. 


which he sent next, but the raven, which was sent for 
the last, did not return. After this he left the ship, 
sacrificed to the gods, and disappeared with his wife both 
to live henceforth as immortals with the gods. The 
tablet account gives, at the end, a speech of Ba-kin 
addressed to Bel, in which he points out the uselessness of 
the flood as a punishment, for, though it destroyed man- 
kind then living, it did not root out the sin and immorality 
of men. 

The Biblical description does not vary much from 
the Chaldean account. According to Genesis^ ^ it rained 
" forty days and forty nights, and the waters increased, 
" and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth . . 
" And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth, 
" and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, 
" were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters 
" prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh 
" died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of 
" cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that 
" creepeth upon the earth, and every man ; . . and Noah 
' " only remained alive, and they that were with him in the 
" ark . . . After the end of the hundred and fifty days the 
" waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh 
" month on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the 
" mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased con- 
" tinually until the tenth month : in the tenth month, on the 
"first day of the month, were the tops of the moun- 
" tains seen . And it came to pass at the end of forty days, 
" that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had 
" made : and he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and 
" fro, until the waters were dried up from ofi: the earth. 
"And he sent forth a dove from him, ., but the dove 
" found no rest for the sole of her feet, and she returned 

" Gen., Chap. vii. 4, 12, 17, 19—21, 23 ; viii. 3—21. 



' unto him into the ark . . . And he stayed other seven days : 
'and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the 
' dove came in to him in the evening ; and, lo^ in her mouth, 
' was an olive leaf pluckt off : so Noah knew that the 
' waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed 
' yet other seven days, and sent forth the dove ; which 
' returned not again unto him any more. And it came to 
' pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first 
' month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried 
' up from off the earth : and Noah removed the covering 
' of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground 
' was dry. And in the second month, on the seventh and 
' twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. And 
' God spake unto Noah, saying : Go forth of the ark, thou, 
and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with 
thee . . And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, 
and his sons' wives with him . . . And Noah builded an altar 
' unto the Lord and took of every clean beast, and of every 
' clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the 
'Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, 
' I will not again curse the ground any more for man's 
' sake ; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his 
' youth ; neither will I again smite any roore every thing 
' living, as I have done." 

The place where the ark first rested, is described in the 
Old Testament as " over the mountains of Ararat." Ararat 
has been generally understood to mean the mountain, now 
called Ararat, which is named by the Armenians Mads, 
by the Turks Aghur Dagh (the steep mountain), and by the 
Persians Asis (the happy mountain) or Koh-i-Nuh, the 
mountain of Noah. Not far from it in the plain lies 
Nakidjevan (Nachdjevan), where Noah is said to have 
landed, and whose name has been explained as meaning 
"the first stage (of descent)." This Nachdjevan must 
however not be confounded with another town of the same 



name, situated on the Don in the Kussian district Yeka- 
terinoslawj which is the seat of the Armenian Patriarch. ^ " 
The mountain Ararat itself consists of two conical peaks, 
respectively, 14,320 and 17,212 feet high. It is very 
inaccessible and the Armenians assert that, as the ark of 
Noah was to be kept intact on the top of the mountain, 
nobody was permitted to ascend it. However, much to 
their displeasure, it was successfully climbed in 1829 by the 
German explorer. Dr. Parrot. Since that time it has 
been ascended more than once; but, to the great disap- 
pointment of the neighbouring inhabitants, no trace of the 
ark has been found on Ararat. Yet, even if the ark had 
originally rested on the mountain, it could hardly be ex- 
pected to be there still, not only in consequence of the 
exposure to the weather to which it had to submit for 
thousands of years, but also, and not the least, on account 
of the frequent and violent volcanic eruptions, to which 
Mount Ararat is subject. Such eruptions have been often 
accompanied with great devastations as in the years 1783 
and 1840. To the careful reader of the Mosaic record, it is, 
however, clear that Noah's ark descended with the subsiding 

^^ The Eev. K. M. Banerjea's Arian Witness, Calcutta, 1875, in No. 10, 
p. 162, seems to do so, when he calls the Armenian Naohdjevan the seat 
of the Armenian Patriarch. Nachdjevan in Eriwan is no doubt a very old 
place, and was once the capital of Armenia. The name is explained to be 
equivalent with the Persian Manzale awel. It was repeatedly destroyed 
by earthquakes as well as by enemies. Exiled Medes rebuilt it after a 
destructive earthquake in the 6th century B.C. An early legend connected 
it with the Noachian deluge. Nebukadnezar transplanted to it some of 
his Jewish prisoners. The Persians destroyed it in the middle of the 4th 
century A.D. From a village it rose to a iiourishing town in the 10th 
century. However, the Tartars laid it in ruina in the 13th century and 
killed its inhabitants. After reobtaining its old position under the sway of 
the Timurides, Shah Abbas of Persia destroyed it again in the 17th cen- 
tury but the Turks recovered it even after Shah Tamasp had taken it. 
Since Nadir Shah, however, it became Persian, but was ceded to Russia 
in 1827. The earthquake of 1840 has injured it considerably. The town 
has now about 5,000 inhabitants. 


waters and did not remain at the top of the mountain. 
On further investigation it will also become clear that the 
Biblical meaning of Ararat does not necessarily point to 
the mountain Ararat, Indeed, the reading of the text 
is " upon the mountains of Ararat." In other places of the 
Old Testament Ararat refers to the country Armenia, and 
the Vulgate contains in fact in those places Armenia instead 
of Ararat. 3 ' Armenian writers make Ararat a province 
of Armenia, and derive its name from Arai, the alleged 
eighth king of Armenia and contemporary of Semiramis, 
who was defeated and killed in that locality, whence it was 
called Arai-arat, the ruin of Arai. 

It is a strange coincidence that the Euphrates and Tigris 
rivers often rise on a sudden to an immense height and inun- 
date the intervening country. Floods of this kind have been 
besides aggravated by violent earthquakes. If at such a 
period fierce cyclones sweep over the Indian ocean, the 
waters of the rivers joined with the encroaching sea waves 
can easily produce a diluvial catastrophe. 

Josephus mentions, in his Judaike Archuiologia (lib. 1, 
ch. 4), that the Armenians call the place, where Noah 
descended from the ark, Apobaterion, and he further states 
that Bei'ossos (and in this item he is supported by 
Alexander Polyhistor) fixes the Kordyan mountains in 
Armenia as the place where Xisuthros landed. Xisuthros 
himself, when leaving his companions, tells them that they 
are in Armenia. BerOssos further adds, that to this day 
the inhabitants make amulets and bi'acelets from the 
remaining bitumen and wood of the ark.^ *^ These Kordyan 

^ ' Genesis vii. 4 1 2 Kings xix. 37 ; Isaiah xxxvii. 38 ; Jeremiah li. 27. 

^' See Berossos from Alexander Polyhistor in Cory's Ancient Fragments, 
p, 29 : " The vessel being thus stranded in Armenia, some part of it yet 
remains in the Corcyrean mountains (Corduarum montibus, Eu. Ar.) of 
Armenia ; and the people scrape off the bitumen, with which it had been 
outwardly coated, and make use of it by way of an alexipharimio and" 


mountains aretlie well-known Karduchia ore of Xenophon's 
Anabasis,3 9 the Kurduchians being the ancestors of the 
modern Kurds of Kurdistan, Kurdistan itself forming in 
ancient times a part of Armenia. This well agrees with the 
reading of Kardu instead of Armenia in the Chaldean or 
Targum of Onkelos. The country Kardu has been declared 
to be synonymous with Armenia, and the word Kardu to be 
etymologically identical with Ghaldea, so that the ancient 
form Chaldea corresponds, so far as the name is concerned, 
with the modern Kurdistan. The ancient tradition thus 
points in general to Armenia as the country where the ark 
landed, though opinion is divided as to the particular spot 
where it landed. The Koran inclines to the side of Berossos, 
as it says that the ark rested on El Judi, a mountain north- 
west of Mossul and east of Jezirah ibn Omar, at the foot of 
which lies the village Karya Themanm, for the Muham- 
madans believe that eighty instead of eight people were 
saved in the ark. Many other mountains have been 
pointed out as resting places of the ark, e.g., the Demavend 
on the south side of the Caspian Sea in Persia, the 
Sufued-Koh (white mountain) in Afghanistan, between 
Cabul and Peshawur, the Adam's Peak in Ceylon ; but our 
special interest centres in the account of Manu. 

The similarity in the names of Cannes, Anu, Noah and 
Manu has given rise to wild philological derivations, and, 
though it is not yet safe to venture a decided opinion 
whether these names are connected with each other or 
Bot, still it is hardly probable that a connection exists 
between all these four legendary personages. The resem- 
blance between the Chaldean and Biblical accounts is so 

amulet." Compare with this extract the following from Abydenos, ibidem, 
p 34 : " Witli respect to the vessel which yet remains in Armenia, it is a 
cnstom of the inhabitants to form bracelets and amulets of its wood." 
" See Xenophon's Anabasis, \v. 1. 


great, that they may be safely regarded as different 
versions of the same legend, a legend which may be 
ultimately traced back to Solar mythology. The great 
dissimilarity consists in the different names of the two 
heroes of the story, Adrahasis (or Xisuthros) and Noah, 
in the manner in which the impending deluge was com- 
municated to each, and in their subsequent fate. 

If we now turn to the Indian legend of Manu, we find 
there also some notable discrepancies. In the Satapatha 
Brahmaija, Manu alone is saved in the ship, which passes 
over the northern mountain (uttarani girim), whose 
original name is, however, not given in the text, but 
which is only conjecturally supplied by the commentator 
as the Himavat (Himalaya). It is, however, henceforth 
known as Manu's descent Manor avasarpanam. He created, 
by his penance, a woman, named Ida, by whom he became 
the ancestor of men. According to the Mahabharata, 
Manu performs penance on the bank of the ChlrinI, takes 
the Bsis with him in his boat, and after many years reaches 
the summit of the Himavat, which, as he binds on it the 
boat, is called Naubandhana. Manu becomes eventually 
the creator of men, gods and asuras. The Matsya-Purana 
reports that Manu, the son of the Sun, underwent a severe 
penance in a certain district of Malaya, the modern Mala- 
bar, and requested Brahman to grant him his wish to pre- 
serve at the impending dissolution all existing creatures, 
whether moving or fixed. The Saphari fish, whom Manu 
recognizes as an avatara of Visnu, predicts a general con- 
flagration followed by an universal deluge, which Manu 
alone will outlive in his divine boat. The Bhagavata 
Purana relates that Hayagriva had carried off the Vedas, 
while Brahman had fallen asleep, that Hari assumed the 
form of a Saphari fish and appeared in this shape to 
Satyavrata, the lord of Bravida, while he was offering 
water to the Pitrs in the Krtamala river. This Satyavrata 


is in this Kalpa identical with Sraddhadeva, the son of 
Vivas vat. 

As the late Dr. J. Muir has already pointed out, it is 
very difficult, if not impossible, to make the legend of the 
flood, as related in the Mahabharata and Purapas, agree 
with the system of Kalpas and Manvantaras.*" The 
oldest Indian account, contained in the Satapatha Brah- 
mana, is the simplest of all, and neither mentions Kalpas 
or Manvautaras, nor does it speak of a dissolution of the 
world, but only of a flood, from which Manu is the only 
survivor. It does not name any particular locality, but 
only alludes to a northern mountain, which he calls from 
Manu's landing Manu's descent. The commentator 
identifies eventually the northern mountain with the 
Himalaya, and the Mahabharata then declares the Hima- 
laya as the mountain where the fastening of the ark 
{Naubhandana) took place. The scene of Manu's penance 
afterwards shifts to the south of India, and we see it 
transferred to Malaya and Dravida, which, under the cir- 
cumstances, may be regarded as identical. This changing 
of the locality from the north to the south is very signifi- 
cant, the more so if it be preceded by a prior movement 
from the west to the east, which I believe to be clearly the 
case, for a Chaldean or Turanio-Semitic origin of the 
Indian legend of the deluge can easily be proved. The 
renowned Burnouf was the first to suggest a Semitic origin, 
though the reasons on which he founded his opinion could 
not be substantiated. He believed that the theory of 
great mundane periods and of periodical dissolutions was 
at a very early period adopted by the ancient Indians, and 
that the legend of the deluge was introduced into India 
at a comparatively modern date, because it was only 
mentioned in works of later origin such as the Mahabharata 

*" See his "Original Sanskrit Texts," Vol. I, p. 215, S. 


and the Puranas. He was wrong in both premises, for the 
Indian theory of yugas and manvantaras is not very ancient, 
and the deluge is not only mentioned in the Mahabharata 
and Puranas, but also, as we have seen, in the Satapatha 
Brahmana ; however, he was right in his main assertion 
that the Indian deluge legend was of foreign or non-Indian 
origin. Most probably the Aryans brought it with them 
when they immigrated into India, or else they obtained 
it whilst already in this country. In both circumstances, 
the locality of the flood, more especially that of the 
northern mountain, cannot be connected with any Indian 
spot, and the identification of the mountain with the 
Himalaya, or its substitution by the country of Malaya or 
Dravida, falls to the ground. 

It appears to me that the Indian legend presents a com- 
bination of the Chaldean and Biblical versions. It resem- 
bles the Chaldean report in its description of certain cir- 
cumstances connected with the flood, whilst the appearance 
of the fish makes, as has been often pointed out already, 
the Chaldean origin well-nigh a certainty. Manu, like 
Noah, survives the flood and becomes the ancestor of the 
human race, while Xisuthros (Adrahasis) disappears after 
the landing and is together with his wife enrolled among 
the gods. 

The fish in the story of Manu corresponds to the Chaldean 
Cannes mentioned by BerOssos, or to the Akkadian Ba-kin 
(Ea, the fish), revered as the sublime fish and worshipped 
as the god of the ocean.* ' The fish Cannes conceals under 
his fishy form a human body with human head and feet, 
and speaks with a human voice. Cannes, whom the gram- 
marian Helladios calls Ces ('fl?;?) and the latter-Platonic 
Damaskios Aos ('A09), is Ea-kin, the god of the deep, as 
well as of the earth and of heaven ; whose special home 

*' See Chaldean Magic by Franijois Lenormant, p. 203, 


was Bridu, the modern Abu Shahrein, on the Persian Gulf, 
which represented to the Chaldean mind the Ocean, the 
great receptacle of all streams and rivers. He emerged 
from the watery element of the celestial ocean which is 
personified as the goddess Ziku.*^ As consort stands at 
his side an independent female deity, Dav-ki (Dav-kina), the 
lady of the earth; the special goddess of Bridu. Each Baby- 
lonian city had its special goddess or creatress, as every 
Indian hamlet and town has its peculiar Gramadevata. 
Ea-kin is the creator of the black race, as the Akkadians 
called themselves, so also do the modern Hindus, who speak 
of themselves in Telugu as Nallavandlu or in Tamil Karwp- 
pumanusarkal (or Karuppumanitarkal). Ea-kin alone knows 
the supreme name in which is centred all divine power. 
He has many names, and those of other gods are also 
transferred to him. His weapon is the disk, which is in 
India assigned to Visnu and to Buddha. He is intrinsically 
pure and does not cause evil. He is the depositary of all 
knowledge and reveals to men all religious and social 
laws. In this respect he resembles the Egyptian Thoth, to 
whom are ascribed the Seriadic columns. Similar pillars 
are attributed to the children of the patriarch 8eth, in 
whose time, according to the Bible, men began to invoke 
the name of the Lord.*^ BerOssos tells us that Cannes 
assumed from time to time incarnations, which apparitions 
were called Annedotoi. We find thus, among the ancient 
Akkadians, already the doctrine of divine incarnation, 
a doctrine which, at a later period prevailed in India. The 
other manifestations of Ea-kin no doubt differ from those 
which are connected with Visnu's name in India, as time 
and circumstances are different ; yet, considering that 

*^ See Lenormant, ibidem, p. 156. 

*' As I have already mentioned, the Egyptians regarded Set, the 
supreme deity of their enemies ; the shepherd kings, as the evil spirit. 
This Set is identical with the well-known deity Baal. 



the original inhabitants of India, the Gauda-DravidianSj 
belonged to the same race as the Akkadians, this coinci- 
dence in dogma should not be overlooked, though we are at 
present, from want of knowledge, unable to make use of it. 

On the Yugas. 

While the accounts of the deluge, contained in the 
Satapatha Brahmana and Mahabharata, do not mention the 
periods of Kalpas or Manvantaras, the Puranic descriptions 
allude to them, and it is necessary for that reason to 
consider them. The Visnupuraija has a particular chapter 
devoted to the measures of time, in which the Yugas, 
Manvantaras and Kalpas are specially considered. The 
four Yugas, the Krta, Treta, Dvapara and Kali yugas are, 
respectively, composed of 4,800, 3,600, 2,400 and 1,200, or 
altogether of 12,000 divine years. A divine year, or a year 
of the gods, has 360 days, each day being a year of the 
mortals, i.e., 4,320,000 divine days or mortal years. One 
thousand of such 1 2,000 divine years represents a day of 
Brahman, or a Kalpa, which lasts therefore 4,320,000,000 
human years, and a night of Brahraan is as long as his day. 
Fourteen Manus reign within such a day, and a Manvantara 
is, therefore, about the fourteenth part of a day of Brahman. 
A Manvantara is also equal to 71 times the years of a Yuga 
plus 25,920,000 years or 4,320,000 x 71 x 14 + 25,920,000 = 
4,320,000,000. Either 1,728,000 years are added to each 
Manvantara, and 1,728,000 besides at the beginning at a 
Kalpa, or 1,851,428 years are added to its Manvantara and 
the 8 remaining otherwise distributed, so that (4,320,000 x 71 
+ 1,728,000) X 14+1,728,000= (4,320,000 x 71 + 1,851,428) 
X 14 + 8 = 4,320,000,000. A general collapse takes place 
at the end of a day of Brahman, and this lasts during the 
following night. This complicated system does not bear 
the impress of great antiquity, and, as a matter of fact, it is 
not mentioned in the Rgveda. The word yuga occurs there 


frequently, but ia the sense of age, generation, or tribe. * * 
It has been already pointed out by Professor von Eoth that 
Manu, when speaking of the 4,800, 3,600, 2,400 and 1,200 
years of the Krta, Treta, Dvapara and Kali yugas re- 
spectively, does not distinguish between years of the gods 
and years of the mortals. These 12,000 ordinary years or 
4,320,000 days, the sum total of the four yugas, were called 
a yuga or age of the gods, and a thousand of these divine 
yugas made a day of Brahman.* ^ The considerable enlarge- 
ment of the computation, by making a day of the gods 
equal to a year of the mortals, is a sure sign of a later 
origin. We possess also other good reasons for assuming 
that the origin of these four different ages belongs to a 
subsequent period, and this reason is supplied by their very 
names, for none of the terms hali, dvapara and tretd appear 
in the Rgveda. The most popular social game among the 
ancient Aryans was that of dice, and gambling was one of 
their common vices, to which property, honor and liberty 
were often sacrificed. We are ignorant of the niceties of 
the game, but we know that kali was either the die or the 
side of the die marked with one (unfortunate) eye {aksa), 
dvapara that which had two, treta which has three and hrta 
(good) that which had four eyes. The Jcali, dvapara, tretd 
and krta yugas stood in the proportion of these dice of 1, 
2, 3 and 4, and, I believe, that the names of the four 
different dice, or of the four sides of the die were transferred 

** Compare J. Muir's Sanskrit Texts, Vol. I, p. 45, ff- 
•= See ManuJ,69—72. 

69. Catvaryahnli sahasrani varsanam tu kitam yugam. 
Tasya tavaoohati sandhyS sandhyainsasoa tathavidhah. 

70. Itareju snsandbyesu saaandhyariisesu oa trisu 
BkapSyena vartante sahasrani satani ca. 

71. Tadetat parisankhyatam adaveva oatnryngam. 
Etad dvadasasahasram devanam yugam ucyate. 

72. Daivikanam yuganam tu sahasram parisankhyaya 
Brahmam ekam ahar jueyani tavati ratrireva oa. 


to those of the yugas. The calculation began with the 
lowest number, but the table was reversed, so that the 
largest stood first. * * 

* " Compare the articles under kali, krta, treta and dvapara in Bofchlingk 
and Eoth's Sanskrit Worteriuch. The original table of these four ages is 

as follows : — 

( dawn 100 years. 

Kaliyuga, 1,200 years .. < length of age 1,000 „ 

' twilight 100 „ 

r dawn 200 

Dvaparayuga, 2,400 years ...< length of age 2,000 „ 
' twilight 200 „ 

/■ dawn 300 „ 

Tretayuga, 3,600 years ... ^ length of age 3,000 „ 
'twilight 300 „ 

r dawn 400 „ 

Kitayuga, 4,800 years ...< length of age 4,000 „ 
(■ twilight 400 „ 

The first mentioning of the names Kali, Dvapara, Treta and Exta occurs 
in Aitareya Brahmana VII, 15 (in Dr. Martin Haug's edition. Vol. I, p. 180): 
" Kalih sayano bhavati sanjihanastu dvaparah, 
Uttisshanstreta bhavati krtam sampadyate oaran." 
(Kali is lying, Dviipara is moving, Treta is standing, Krta is walking.) 
This passage has been explained as referring to virtue (Dharma) personified 
as a bull [vrsa), lying down with one foreleg standing upright in the 
Kaliyuga, getting up with his two frontlegs in the Dvaparayuga, standing 
at rest on three legs in the Tretayuga, and walking on four legs in the 

The numbers of the legs 1, 2, 3 and 4 correspond to the same number of 
eyes of the dice. The passage of the Taittirlya Brahmaaa (III, 4, 16) where 
these four terms are repeated refers clearly to gambling with dice 
(" aksarajaya kitavam hrtnya sabhavinam tretdyd adinavadarsam dva- 
paroya bahissadam kalaye sabhasthanum duskxfcaya carakacaryam "). 

In the Bhifmaparva n, X, 3 — 7, the years ascribed to the Yugas refer to 
the years men live in them respectively. 

Another explanation of the word Krta in Krtayuga has been offered by Mr. 
M. Seshagiri Sastri, m.a., in his " Etymology of some mythological names " 
on p. 27 of the Madras Journal of Literature and Science for the session 
1888-89, which is a reprint from a passage on pp. 193, 194 of his Notes on 
Aryan and Dravidian Philology : "Minos I, the grandfather, was the vrise 
legislator in every city of Greece and was made the supreme and absolute 
judge in the infernal regions. His equity and justice, the radical connec- 
tion of his name with Sans, f ^, visa, and the fact of his being the king 
of Creta, the Grecian original forms of which are Kprtra and Kpijrv remind 


Gomputations of time on a large scale are also found 
among tlie Akkadians, Chaldeans and Egyptians. The old 
Egyptian chronicle, e.g., thus ascribes to the 30 dynasties 
in 113 descents the long period of 36,525 years, which, sub- 
divided by 25, gives 1,461 years and which relates to the 
mythological zodiac among the Egyptians and jGreeks. 
1,461 days give four Egyptian solar years of 365^^ days 
each year.'" The Babylonians were no doubt expert 
astrologers and astronomers, and, as such, they were famous 
in ancient times. They fixed the deluge of Adrahasis or 
Xisuthros 39,180 years before the commencement of history 
which began, according to them, 2517 B.C., or altogether 
41,697 years B.C. They assumed, moreover, that the ten 
kings from AlOros to Xisuthros, who preceded the flood, had 
reigned 432,000 years.* « 

us of the Hindu Krta Yuga, the first o£ the four great periods of the world, 
in which Visa, the bull of virtue, stood with four legs and reigned 
supreme (vide the Vrsa Gh'oup) . In KpijTTj I see a trace of Kpiris, 'choice,' or 
the act of choosing, that is, the human volition, or of Sans, firti kita, or 
frrrT) kiti, 'action' ; and the legendary government of Kpnrri by Minos 
and the standing of Virtue of a bovine form on four legs must refer to the 
virtuous disposition of the people in a good age. The Greek Kpnra in its 
secondary meaning refers to the locality of the virtuous action and the 
Sans. fTfT) kita, to the age." 

*' See Vifnupurana in F. Hall's edition, Vol. I, pp. 49 — 52, and Cory's 
Ancient Fragments, p. 89 : "Among the Egyptians there is a certain tablet 
called the Old Chronicle, containing thirty dynasties in 113 descents, dur- 
ing the long period of 36,525 years." This number is also mentioned by 
Jamblichns, in connexion with Egyptian history, as the number of the 
Hermaic books, perhaps allowing a book to each year. " AH which Hermes 
wrote in 20,000 books, according to the account of Seleucus ; but Manetho, 
in his history relates that they were completed in 36,525" — (De Myst, 
p. 8, V. 1), and on p. 91 : " In all, 30 dynasties, and 36,526 years, which 
number of years, resolved and divided into its constituent parts, that is to 
say, 25 times 1,461 years, shows that it relates to the fabled periodical 
revolution of the Zodiac among the Egyptians and Greeks." 

*' See Le poeme Chaldien du diluge traduit de I'Assyrien par Jules 
Oppert, Paris, 1885, pp. 6, 7 .- " Les Babyloniens pla9aient le deluge k 
39,180 ans avantle commencement des temps historiques, qu'ils fixaieut & 


These 432,000 years are reduced in tlie Biblical account, 
as Professor Julius Oppert of the French Academy has 
very ingeniously shown, to 1,666 years. The first reduc- 
tion he makes by dividing 432,000 by 5, the number of 
86,400 thus gained, he regards as representing weeks, 
which 86,400 weeks are as nearly as possible equal to 1,656 
years ; for 23 years give 8,400 days or 1,200 weeks, a year 
having 365j days, and the surplus fraction of | being dis- 
regarded; 23 X 72 or 1,656 years give thus 86,400 weeks. *^ 

2,517 av. J. C. ; done h, 41,607 av. J. C. La chrouologie chaldeenne a les 
memes origines que celles de la Genese : les Hebrenx, peuple plus jeuue, 
ne faisaieut que raccourcir les unites temporaires. Xisnthrus etait le 
dixifeme des dix roia antediluTiens qui avaient regn^, 432,000 ans on 86,400 
(60 X 60 X 24) lustres. Noe est le dernier des dix partriarches hebrenx 
qui vivaient pendant nn intervalle de 86,400 semaines ou 1656 ans. Les 
39,180 ans ecoules entre le deluge et les temps hiatoriques sont 653 aoixan- 
taines d'anneea ou 653 sosses, qui ae deoomposaient en : 

12 periodea sothiaqnes k 1,460 ans = 17,520 ana ou 292 Bosses. 
12 ,, lunaires h, 1,806 ans = 21,660 ans ou 3 61 sosses. 
Total : 39,180 ana ou 653 aossea. 

La Bible a reduit les soixantaines d'anneea & I'unite, et chose d'une impor- 
tance capitale, elle admet entre le deluge et la naisaance d'Abraham, 292 
ans, et entre cet evenement et la fin de la Gen^ae 36 1 ans ; en total, 653 
ans, les chiffirea ae passent de tout conimeutaire.'' 

To the sothiao and lunar periods Professor J. Oppert adds the following 
note : " La periode aothiaque de 1,460 ans ou de qnatre fois 365 ans, 
uaitee aurtout en Bgypte, eat le laps de temps dans lequel une date de 
I'aunee vague de 365 jours fait le tour dea saisons. La periode lunaire de 
1,805 ana ou 22,325 lunaiaouS est un cycle, aprfes lequel les eclipses revien- 
nent dans le meme ordre ; cette periode etait connue des anoiena, qui 
I 'avaient deduite de leur observations." 

The calculation according to which the 39,180 years previously to the 
historical times of the Babylonians correspond to 653 Babylonian sothiao 
and lunar sosses or to 653 Biblical years (which lapse of time equals the 
period between the deluge and the death of Joseph in Egypt), requires 
some further explanation, because Joseph did, according to Biblical calcu- 
lations, neither die in the year 2517 B.C., nor is it explained how we can 
accept these two thousand and odd years as yeara B.C. when the preced- 
ing 39,180 yeara equal only 653 Biblical years. 

*» Ibidem, note on pp. 6, 7 : " En effet, 23 ans font 8,400 jours ou 
1,200 semaines j 1,666 ou 23 x 72 ana donnent 86,400 semaines. La Bible, 
oomme les Chaldeens, partageait le temps antediluvien en trois parties 


In their calculations the Babylonians, however, followed 
the older Turanian settlers of the country, the Akkadians, 
who were the real originators of the Boss, the period of 
sixty years. This computation of time was most probably 
peculiar to the whole race, as it was found, and is still 
extant among its principal representatives in Asia. Not 
only is it to be met with among the old Akkadians, the 
mediaeval Uigurs, the modern Mongols, Mantchus and 
Chinese, but it was very likely also known to the Gauda- 
Dravidians and other kindred tribes.''" At a later period 

sur lesquelles il y avait des l^gendes aujourd'hui ignorees. Les oinq 
premiers patriarches bibliques vivaienfc ensemble 460 (23 x 20) ana ou 
24,000 semainea ; lea trois snivanta 414 (23 x 13) ans on 21,600 semaines, 
jnste le quart de tont I'intervalle. Lea deux derniera oocnpent 782 (23 x 34) 
ans on 40,800 semaines j dana cette derniere periode tons moururent, 
depnia Adam juaqn'avi neuvifeme patriarche. Les Chaldeens admettent 
trois periodes semblables, dont la seoonde prend, elle aussi, le quart de 
tonte I'epoqne antediluvienne. L'evaluation de I'age du monde k 6,000 ans 
repose uniquement, aur lea ohiffres de la Genfese dont on a aujourd'hui 
deoouvert I'origine : les Juifs ont combine avec les m^mes nombres des 
unites temporaires plus petites que oelles des Chaldeens et des Egypti- 

^° See my monograph Der Freshyter Johannes in Sage und Oeschichte 
(2nd edition), Berlin, 1870, in No. 1, on pp. 119, 120 ou the sixty years' 
cycle among the Eastern Turks, Mongols and Chinese. The twelve yearly 
cycle of animals is combined with a ten years' cycle of the five elements 
or of the five colours (blue, red, yellow, white and black) in their mascu- 
line and feminine forms, thus becoming ten. In this manner the 60 years' 
cycle can be expanded into one of 120 years. 

The ancient Egyptians uaed, as Profeasor Lauth has proved a period 
of 120 years, the Hauti ,• "In der That mit Zugrundelegung dieses 120 
jahrigen Zeitkreises hanti ist es mir gelungen, die vollstandige Reihe 
sammtlioher Epoohenkbnige wieder aufzufinden" (Aegyptische Chronologie, 
p. 9). However, the word hanti suggests it to be a dual formation, in 
consequence this cycle of 120 years may perhaps be founded on that of 60 
years' duration. 

Plutarch, in his treatise de Iside et Osiride, Cap. 75, Vol. II., p. 381, in 
the above mentioned Paris edition of 1624, remarks that the Egyptian 
astronomers regarded the number 60 as their first measure (II^kovto t 
tS>v liirpav vpwrSj' ean rots irep! to. ovpivia TrpayfiaTivofievois), a fact which 
Prof. Lauth has also pointed out. 


it was adopted by the Aryan immigrants of India, as is 
proved by the existence of the sixty years' cycle of Brhas- 
pati or Jupiter. This planet accomplishes an entire revo- 
lution in twelve years or rather in 4,332 days, 12 hours, &c. 
As this cycle is divided into twelve years like a year is into 
twelve months, a lustrum of such a cycle constitutes the 60 
years' cycle or the Chaldean soss. Whether the Kaliyuga, 
of which I spoke previously, owes its duration to twenty 
such Bosses being combined, it is now impossible to prove ; 
however, it is not at all improbable. The artificial arrange- 
ment of the yugas in which a morning and evening dawn, 
which occupied together a sixth part of an age {e.g., the 
100 years of the dawn, the 1,000 years of the yuga and the 
1 00 years of the evening) and which precede and follow each 
yuga, is also perhaps of later origin ; but whether this is the 
case or not, the correctness of my explanation of the origin of 
the nomenclature of the yugas will not be affected. The 
main object I have in view in this discussion is to draw 
attention to the close resemblance of Indian and Turanian 
computations.^ 1 

'^ ' The twelve years of the cycle of Brhaspati have the names of the 
twelve lunar mouths, as the twelve-yearly rotation of Jupiter resembles the 
twelve monthly of the earth. If this twelve-yearly revolution is combined 
with the lustrum, yuga, or period of five years, the 60 years' cycle is the 
result. It is, however, quite possible, that this combination of the lustrum 
with the Jupiter cycle is only a later explanation of Indian astronomers, as 
it is certain that the latter derived in later times most of their knowledge 
from the West, especially through the Greeks, who in their turn were 
indebted to the Babylonians and Egyptians ; the Sanskrit names of the 
Zodiac are thus mere translations of the Western names. Compare 
Varahamihira' s Brhatsamhita, Till, 1, about the names of the single years 
of the cycle of Brhaspati corresponding to those of twelve lunar months 
and VIII, 27 about the sixty years' cycle : 

Adyam dhanisthamsamabhiprapanno maghe yada yatyudayam snrejyah 
sastyabdapiirvah prabhavalj sa namna pravartate bhutahitastadSbdah. 
See the Sarijasiddhanta, 1, 55, XIV, 1, 2 (edition of the Bibliotheca 
Indica, Calcutta, 1859, pp. 41, 369, 370) about the twelve-years' and sixty- 
years' cycle of Bihaspati : 

55, Dvadasaghna guror yata bhagana vartarmanakaih. 
EaSibhih sahitah suddhah sastya syur vijayadayah. 


From the general description in the sacred record it does 
not appear that the deluge was accompanied by any such 
phenomena as have proceeded from geological revolutions 
produced by violent eruptions of water. The early drift 
accumulations prove, by their component elements, that they 
belong to a period much anterior to the deluge of Noah, 
but the crust and surface of the earth do not exhibit any 
clearly ascertained and indelible traces of the Noachian 
deluge. Notwithstanding that no such evidences of any 
great diluvian catastrophe are found, similar catastrophes 
and inundations, which created great changes on the surface 
of the earth, have happened within that period. 

Since the researches of Professor Prestwich, the existence 
of man has been traced to a period far beyond the limits 
of Biblical chronology ; nay, it is thought highly probable 
that human beings already existed in the so-called tertiary 
period, and hundred thousands of years must therefore 
have elapsed before we come within touch of historical 
times. It is, however, possible that though man existed, 
he was at that early period both mentally and physically 
far below the species at present living. In fact we know 
hardly anything about these men beyond their bare exist- 
ence ; they have almost totally disappeared, without leaving 
anything behind them, save their bones and a few traces 
of their handiwork and implements. On the other hand 
the Chaldean and Biblical deluge-accounts prove through 
the survival of the companions of Xisuthros and Noah 
respectively the continuity of the human species, and inform 
us besides of events that previously occurred. The exist- 
ence of the Chaldean tablets prepared with the express 
purpose of preserving to posterity the learning of bye-gone 

1. Brahmam divyam tatha pitryam prajapatyam guros tathii, 
Saiuranca savanam oandram arksam manani vai nava. 

2. Catnrbhir vyavaharoatra sauraoandrapk'asavanai'h 
BSrbaspatyena Bajtyabdam jfieyam nanyais tu nityasah. 



times, favors the assumption that according to the expec- 
tation of the iuscribers the deluge would be confined by 
limits of time and place. These expectations appear to 
have been realised, for the discovery of these tablets shows, 
that there could not have taken place any great changes 
on the surface of the earth. 

In summiug up the evidence derived from the Biblico- 
Chaldean account of the deluge, assuming it to have been 
local and to have extended only over Mesopotamia and the 
contiguous countries, the Indian description of it must 
either have emanated from direct communications made 
by the descendants of survivors, or from reports, which 
events of such magnitude necessarily produce. As the 
Aryans had not yet entered India at such an early date, 
Manu could not have been in India, nor could the ark have 
landed on the Himalaya, or elsewhere in this country. 
This conclusion appears to be supported by the fact that the 
Veda nowhere alludes to such an inundation. I omit alto- 
gether at this moment to consider the possibility of the 
deluge legend being known among the Gauda-Dravidian 
population of India, but may point out that its connection 
with Malabar seems to lend a plausibility to such an 

If we were certain, which we are not, that Genesis 
-iupplies us with an approximate date of the deluge, and 
that this deluge was, what is very probable, identical with 
the Indian deluge connected with the name of Manu, we 
would be able, as the Noachian flood, according to Biblical 
chronology, can be fixed at 2500 B.C., to utilize this date 
also for purposes of Indian history and start from it as the 
commencement of its first epoch. I regard the matsya- 
avatara of Visnu, however, in its connection with Manu as 
the first legendary date of Indian history. This impor- 
tance that I ascribe to the fish avatara of Visnu, as 
exemplified by Manu's flood, has induced me to enter more 


deeply into this subject than might seem at first necessary 
from a superficial view of the question. The prevailing 
Indian tradition that the three first avataras of Visnu 
belong to the Krta, the next four to the Treta, the eighth 
and ninth to the Dvapara and the tenth to the Kali-yuga 
has no historical weight. This inquiry has also brought 
to light the intimate connection between the Turanian 
tribes of the West with those of the East — a connection 
which will prove eventually of very great importance. 

On the Salagbama-stone. 

Visiju like other gods is worshipped by means of images 
{vigraha), but his pious adherents prefer to revere him in 
the form of the Salagrama-stonCj though jewels^, drawings 
and heaps of grain are also occasionally used to represent 
him.^^ The worship of idols is always diflioult and 
demands great attention. The slightest mistake or over- 
sight exposes the adorer to the wrath of the oSended deity. 

" Salagrame manau yantre, tanclule pratimadisn, 

hareh piija prakarfcavya na tu kevalabhiitale. 
The derivation of the word Salagra^nay Sdlagrama or Saligranin is 
disputed. Some connect the word with the Sal or Sal-tree (Sliorea robusta 
or Valeria robusta) , and contend that it signifies a collection of such trees, 
which are said to grow in abundance in the neighbourhood of the Sala- 
gramatirtha {salanam vrliSanam rjramah). Others assert that it signifies 
saragrava, the best stone, while others explain the first word of the com- 
pound sala or sara as formed of the prefix sa, with, and the noun ara or 
ala (for no real difference exists between )■ and I), spoke of a wheel, curl, 
saragmma or salagrama in consequence signifying a collection of spiral 
curls. Others again affirm that the name is connected with ali, bee. The 
VajrakUa worm, which bores the hole in the Salagrama, is by some 
commentators taken for a bee bhramara or ali, and as the holes are 
occasionally found in great numbers (grama), the stone received the name 
of Saligrama. This opiuion is expressed in a slokaof the Paiicaratragama 
mentioned to me by M.R.Ry- V. Tatadesikatataoaryar : 

Alayo vajrakitas syus tadvrndam grama ucyate, 

Aligramasametatvat saligramas sa ucyati?. 
A wrong conjecture connects it with iaila, rook. 


who in some form, e.g., as Narasiiiiha, is easily disposed to 
get angry and to take revenge on tlie incautious worshipper. 

The peculiar outward appearance of the Salagrama with 
its perforated hole [chidva or dvara), its spiral convolution 
[cahra), its various colours {varna) and other striking 
marks offers to the untutored mind of the superstitious 
beholder ample scope for astonishment and wonder, and as 
this stone possesses besides considerable magnetic force, 
one need not be surprised that divine or supernatural 
powers are ascribed to it, and that it is regarded as a 
manifestation of the deity. In this light it was without 
doubt viewed by the aboriginal inhabitants of India long 
before the Aryans invaded this country, and at a later 
period it attracted likewise the attention of the conquering 
I'ace. The several formations were eventually considered 
as representations of vai'ious deities, but the Aryans re- 
garded the Salagrama mainly as the emblem of Visi^u, 
who is in fact the only Hindu deity actually worshipped 
in its shape, and who is believed to really dwell in it.^^ 

The cause of the existence of so many various specimens 
of the Salagrama will be easily understood, when it becomes 
clear, that this pebble i'^ a much-waterworn concretion 
containing Ammonites and other shells such as Brachio- 

■ Siilai^rfimagirir Hnrili, yasmaddharis sthitas tatra priidurbharair 

We find also tho folluiving verses in the PadiuapuraHa : 

Salagi'iinia«ilayam tu sada SrTkrsnapujanam, 

uityam saimihitas tatra salagrame jagadgurnh .... 

SalagramasilariipJ yatra tisthati Kesarah, 

latra di'Viiauriis sarve bliiiTanani caturdasa. 
lu the Brltuunorridlija the second half is : 

" na b.^dhante grahiis lalra bhutavaitiilakadajal.i.' 

Srilagramasila yatra tatra tirtham tapovanam 

yatali sannihitas tatra bhagavan MadhusSdanah. 
Compare also Dcvimahatnnja IX, 2-1, IG : 

SalagramasilS. yatra tatra sannihito Haa'il.i 

tatraiya Laksmir ^'asati aarvatrrthasamauvita , 
.i great nnmbcr of similar slokas could be quoted, but these ivill »uffioe. 


pods. It is represented in three different formations; 
either as an unbroken pebble, or as one so broken that the 
fossil shell can be seen inside, or it is merely an outer frag- 
ment of the pebble, which shows in its interior the impression 
of the surface o£ the shell it previously surrounded.^ ■* 

'* See A voyage to the East Indies and China, translated from the 
French of Monsieur Sonnerat... by Francis Magnus, Calcutta, 1788, Vol. I, 
pp. 40 — 42 : " The stone of Salagraman is nothing but a petrifiecl shell of 
the species of comes d'ammon .- the Indians suppose it represents Viche- 
nou, because they discover nine different shades which refer to the nine 
incarnations of that god. It is found in the river of Cachi, one of the 
arms of the Ganges, it is very heavy, commonly of a black colour, and 
sometimes violet, the form is oval or round, a little flat, and nearly resem. 
ties a touchstone, and is shallow in the inside, there is only a small hole 
on the ontside, but within it is almost concave, and furnished in the interior 
coats above and below with spiral lines, which terminate in a point towards 
the middle, and in many these two points touch. Some Indians imagine 
it is a small worm which works upon the stone in this manner to prepare 
a habitation for Vichenou. Others have found in these spiral lines the 
figure of his chakram. These stones are very rare, and the Brahmans iix 
a great value on them, when they represent the gracious transformations 
of Vichenou, but when they border a little on the violet, they denote his 
incarnations in the form of a man, a lion, a wild boar, &c. When that it. 
the case, no follower of this god dares to keep them in his house ; the 
Saniassis alone are bold enough to carry them and to make the daily 
ceremonies to them. They are kept also in the temples." 

Compare the Miscellaneous Essays by H. T. Colebrooke, London, 1S73. 
Vol. I, p. 173, Note 1, in the article on " the religious ceremonies of the 
Hindus and of the Brahmins specially." "The salagramas are black stones 
found in a part of the Gandaki river, within the limits of Nepal. They 
are mostly roaud and are commonly perforated in one or more places by 
worms, or, as the Hindus believe by Vishnu in the shape of a reptile. 
According to the number of perforations and of spiral curves in each, 
the stone is supposed to contain Vishnu in various characters ... In like 
manner stones are found in the Narmada, near Onhiir mSndatta, which are 
considered as types of Siva, and are called Banling. Tlie salagrama is 
found upon trial not to be calcareous, it strikes fire with steel and scarcely 
at all eServesce-s ivith acids." Eead also Colonel Wilford's articles on the 
ancient Geography of India in the Asiatic Researches, Vol. XIV, pp. 414, 
415 : " There are four stones, which are styled Saila-maya, and are accord- 
ingly worshipped, whenever they are found. The first is the Saila, or 
stone just mentioned (Soihnjrama); thR second, which is found abundantly 
in the river Sana, is a figured stone, of a reddish colour, with a sup- 
posed figure of Ganeia in the shape of an elephant, and commonly called 


In consequence of this fundamental diiference a great 
number of varieties exist, which are arranged into various 
classes according to the colour {varna), curl {cakra), hole 
{bila or chidra), shape [miii-ti), size (sthulasuksmavibheda) , 
circumference (parimdna), measure (p-amana), base (asana), 
line (mudra), separate portions (avayava), &c., of the Sala- 
grama. Another division is made according to their habitat, 
or place of their origin, whether they belong to the water 
or to the land, i.e., whether they are jalaja or sthalaja, and 
their qualities vary according to this diiference. ^^ 

Oaneia-cd-pathar : the third, is found in the A'acm/ftada; and the fourth, 
is a single etoneof rook, which is the Saila-maya, of the third part of the 
bow of Paraiurama, after it had been broken by Barnachandra. It is still 
to be seen, about seven Cos to the N. E. of Janaca-pura in Tairalhucta, at 
a place caXlei Dhanucd-grama, or the village of the bow, occasionally called 
Saila-mayd-pur, or grama, according to the Bhnvnna-coia." 

In a letter read at the meeting of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta in 
October 1830, Dr. Gerard of Subathu observed that he had discovered in 
a lofty position (15,000 feet) of the Himalaya range, an extensive fossil 
tract of shell formation of which he describes four classes, and of the 
fourth thus writes : " Beleninites and Orthoceratites mineralized by the 
same material as the Ammonites (iron clay and pyrites). Their abund- 
ance in the beds of mountain torrents, especially the Gundak, has been 
long known, as they form an indispensable article in the uncra of the Hindu 
Thakoordivaree, under the name of Salagrama " (see Charles Coleman's 
Mythology of the Hindus, London, 1832, p. 176). Compare the Memorandum 
on the fossil shells discovered in the Himalayan mountains, by the Kev. E. 
Everest in the Asiatic Researches, Vol. XVIII, Part II, pp. 107 — 114, and 
Observations on the Spiti Valley by Surgeon J. G. Gerard in the same 
volume, pp. 238 — 277, where we read on pp. 276, 277; that " before cross- 
ing the boundary of Ladak into Basiihir I was gratified by the discovery 
of a bed of marine fossil shells resembling oysters and clinging to the back 
in a similar manner .... on the crest of a pass elevated 17,000 feet." 
" Madriiksptre parimaiiam asanam milrtibhedakam, 

sthiilasnksmavibhedam ca cakralaksaiiam evaca . . . 

Varnariipadyavayavaih pramanabilaliinchanaih, 

dviiradesavibhedena bhedali kasSiicit ucyate . . . 

OakrakiXram vinirmanam talra kuryur hi sarvasali, 

jalasthalamatham caiva taccakram trividham smitam. 

Niskesaram kitabhnktam taccakram mathasanjfiakam. 

idam fva dvidha proktam jalasthalavibhedatah. 


The principal marks are the curls, holes, colour and 
shape. The cakras, curls, or spiral convolutions, are of the 
utmost importance ; they are divided into matha (cell) and 
kesara (filament). The latter possess superior merit and 
are ascribed to the water within the stone in which the 
fabulous vajrakita lives. ^^ The varieties of curls are con- 
siderable and are credited with producing various effects 
in the fortunes of those who worship stones marked in such 
a manner. A Salagrama may have one to twelve such curls. 
The Cakranadi is the river which abounds in Salagrama- 
cakras and cakras are according to the legend even found 
engraved on the heads, backs and bones of the creatures 
who live there, on men as well as on animals.^ ' 

' " Atraati karanam yaooa tat te samyagnigadyate, 

rasam yasyam silayam tu sambhunkte kitakali sanaih. 
Pritya tasyam prajayeta oakram tat kesarair yutam, 
tasmat utpadyate oakram mathaaanjnam phalalpadam. 
Cakrabhyam ca sila jneya sastasasta vasundhare, 
yatproktam dvividham oakram tatpunar dvividham bhavet, 
jalajasthalajam oaiTa laksanam tasya kathyate. 
Susnigdham diptisamyuktam oakram tajjalajam bhavet, 
karkasam ksinatejo yat tacoakram sthalajam bhavet. 
Etayor jalajam sastam nadiparvatayogatah, 
madhyamam sthalajam proktam parvatasyaiva yogatah 

' ' Cakreaa kambuna va ca padmena gadayaiikita, 

tatra Srih pratyaham tisthet sada sampat taya viset . . . 

Samacaksva param riipam cakranam laksanam mnue, 

sarvasiddhikaram oaiva sarvakamarthasadhakam. 

Laksanam yaooa cakr5pam tacohrnuava mahSmune, 

dharmakamarthamoksanam purasarthaikahetukam. 

Gandakyascottare tire girirajasya daksine, 

ksetram tu Vispusannidhyam sarraksetrottamottamam. 

Tojanadvadasamitam bahutirthasamakulam, 

tatra Cakranadlnama tirtham Brahmavinirmitanj. 

Tasyottare mahasingam mama pritikaram tatha, 

taoohayabhigatas tatra pasapasoa Khagesvara, 

Saccihnaisoihnitasoaiva taravo dharapitale, 

narapam api pakslndra kiScit kalanivasinam 

Sarvasthisu bhavecoakram maBtake prstha eva ca {Qarudapurana) . 


The Salagrama may be flat, long, small, oval, round, and of 
rough or of soft surface ; one as small as an Amalahi fruit 
(Bmblic Myrobalam) is most highly esteemed. ^^ Though 
generally black, Salagramas of blue, violet, green, yellow, 
brown, red, white and other colours are also found. So far as 
the hole is concerned, those stones are particularly valued in 
which the width of the opening equals one-eighth of the cir- 
cumference, of less value are those where it equals one- 
fourth, while those in which it amounts to three-eighths are 
held to be of indifferent value. ^^ 

A Salagrama without marks is not esteemed,*"' while 
every good Salagrama is worshipped as a sacred place or 
hsetram.^'^ Good and bad qualities are mysteriously con- 
nected with the various Salagramas, the same stone can cause 
prosperity to one individual and destruction to another. I 
shall content myself with giving below a few examples of 
the influence ascribed to the Salagrama. A soft one fulfils 
the wishes of the worshipper, a small secures heavenly 
reward, a cool gives pleasure, a black fame, a red sovereignty, 
one with a wide hole destroys a family, one with crooked 
curls creates fear, one in which the cakras are arranged 
unevenly causes misery, a smoke-coloured makes stupid, a 
brown kills the wife of its owner, one with many holes turns 
its worshipper into a tale-bearer.'^'- However, not always 

'-^ Tasmat tarn pujayet uityaru dharmakamarthasiddhayp, 

tatrapyamalakitulyS aiiksma cativa ya tatha. 
'-^ Vittaaiitrastamo bliaga uttamam cakralaksanam, 

madhyamam ta oatarbhagam kaniyas til tribhagakam ( Piirana- 
sahgraha) . 
"" Lauohanena viua ya syat aprasasta tu sa smifca. 
" ' Salagramasya yat piiayam ksetram trailokyavisrufcam, 

tatrasti ca Haris saksat sarvadcvais samanvitalj. 
'" Compare oa this subject the Salagramalalcsana, Laksminamyana- 
samvada, Merutantra, and especially the Compendium P rlranavh-abhakti- 

Sviyavarna sila pujya BrahmaUadyaili sukhaptaye, 
snigdha sila mantrasiddhim raksasiddhim karoti ca. 


the same virtues and faults are in tlie various descriptions 
ascribed to the same kind of stones. 

A Salagrama-stone and a Tulasi plant should be revered 
in every housCj otherwise such a house is like a burning 
groundj''3 yet two Salagramas together should not be 
worshipped in one and the same house ; a similar rule 
applies to the linga."* A Salagrama should neither be 
bought nor sold for a certain fixed price, those who do 
not observe this precept go to hell.''^' He who offers a 
Salagrama as a present is regarded to have given the best 

Mecaka kirttiha dhautaiigararat sa yasohara, 

papcluriiparthasamani malinS papadhikari. 

Pita putraphalam dadyat aravarna gutan haret, 

nila sandisate laksmlm dhfimrabhii liarate matiiu. 

Eogaprada raktavariia sindarabha mahakalim, 

daridryakaritii vakrii samS sarvarthasadhikS. 

Sfchala nihanti caivayuh siiksma svalpamatiui liai*et, 

piijaphalam lanohitaya nisphala liluoanam viua. 

Kapila oittavaikalyam uetrarogauca karbura, 

bhagna bhangakari jneya bahucakrapamauadri, 

Laksaijantaraliina ca devaoakra viyogada, 

Vrhanmakhi kalatraghni vihaccakrii sutan haret . . . 

Cakram va kevalam padmalaiiohanam tvatha va gadil. 

Laficlianam vanamala va Harir Laksmya salia sthitali, 

tasmin gehe na daridryam na soko maraaad bhayam. 

Na caivagnibhayam tatra grahair dustair na badhyate, 

ante mokso bhayam tasya piijanadeva nityasah. 
°* Yad gihe nasti tulasi salagraraasilarcanain, 

smasanasadiaam vindyat tadgiham snbhavariitam . . . 

Sa dhanyalj purusoloke saphalam tasya jivitam, 

salagramasila suddha gihe yasya ca pujita. 
°* Grhe lingadvayam naroyam ganesatrayam eva oa, 

dvau saukhau naroayennityam na saktitrayam eva ca. 

Dve cakre dvarakayaa tu narcyam si3ryadvayam tatha, 

salagramas samah piijyah nadyayam tu kadacana. 

Visama na ca piijyas te visame caika eva hi, 

naksataih piijayet Vispum na ketakya Sadasivam. 
<'^ Salagramasilayas tu miilyam udghatayet kvacit 

vikreta krayakarta va narake vai patet dhruvam. 



land circle. «o It should also not be touched either by a 
Sodra, or by an outcast, or by a woman." ^ The sacred 
stone should be carefully kept apart in a shrine, between 
TulasI leaves and wrapt up in a clean cloth. It should be 
often perfumed and washed, the water ased on such an 
occasion becomes sanctified and fit to be drunk as holy 
water. The Salagrama is to be plentifully supplied with 
milk, rice and other requisites ; this is also done to test the 
quality and for choosing the proper stone. ^^^ 

The head of the family should at least once a day, '5'' 
after his morning ablutions, or at evening-dawn, offer his 
prayers to the Salagrama. Closing his eyes, he rings the 
bell to announce the approach of Visiiu and to warn the 
people to stand off, because the god is appearing from the 
Salagrama, which is placed on a small tray or simhdsana 
(throne). He supplies the burning lamps with camphor, 
sprinkles water on himself and on the stone, and offers to 
the god, while uttering liis mantras or prayers, arghya, 
'padya, aeamamya, sndniya, pamya and annadiham.""- 

°° Salagramasilacakram yo dadyat danam uttamam, 
bhficakram tena dattani syat sasailavanakauauani 
Yo dad.iti silam Visnoli salagramasamudbhavam, 
vipraya vipramukhyaya tenestam bahubhir makbaih. 
" ' Salagramo na sprastavyo hinavarnair vasnndbare, 
strlsiidj'akaraBainsparso vajrasparsadhiko matalj. 
Mohat yah satnsprset siidro yosid vapi kadaoana, 
sa patet narake ghore yavat abhiatasamplavam. 
° ' Ksire va tandule viipi aalagramam nivesayet, 

distvadhlkyam tayoh kiiicib grbplyat buddhimSn naral.i. 
It is asserted that rice and milk gain in weight, if a Srvlagrama is placed 
in them. 

°" Salagramam Harpsoihuam pratyaham piijayet naral.i. 
' " Such mantras are : 

"Om bijam svaha salagramavasisriramaprityarthe viniyogah. Omnamo 
bhagavate hrdayaya natnah. Visnave sirase svaha, Salagramavasine 
sikhayai vausat. Sarviibhistaphalapradaya kavacaya hum. Sakaladuri- 
tanivarine netratrayaya vausat Salagramaya svaha. Astraya bhat." 

" Om namo bhagavate Visnave. Salagramauivasine sarvabhistaphala- 
pradaya sakaladuritanivarine Salagramaya svaha." 


He then walks three times from the right side round the 
Salagrama, repeats the thousand names of Visiju, and after 
finishing his prayers takes his food. 

The eificienoy of the stone to secure the blessings of this 
as well as of the next world is firmly believed in by pious 
Hindus.^' In consequence of this it is shown to dying 
persons and water poured on the TulasI plant is sprinkled 
on them through the hole of the stone in order to secure 
to them the benefit of dying in Kasi ; ' - even sinners when 
they receive it^ have their sins condoned/ ^ Avhile it confers 
likewise pleasure on the departed Manes.'"* 

The hole or opening of the Salagrama, which is in fact its 
most important feature, is ascribed to the action of the 
legendary insect Vajrakita. The story goes that the divine 
Narayana or Visiju wandered once in the form of a golden 
bee or Vajrakita on the surface of the earth. The gods 
seeing him whirling about with very great splendour, 
assumed also the shape of golden bees and approached him. 

' ' Yah piijayet Harim cakre salagramasamudbhave, 

rSjasiiyasahasrena tenestam prativasaram. 

Yad atnananti Vedanta Brahma nirguiiam acyutam, 

tatpraaado bhavet nrnam salagramasilarcanat. 

Kotidvadasaliiigaistu pi3jitaih svarnapaikajaih, 

j'at syat dvadasavarsesu dinenaikena tad bhavet. 

Salagramasamipe tu krosamatram samantatah, 

kitako'pi mrto yati Yaikiinthabliuvanam guha. 
'■^ Salagramasilasparsah kotiyajnaphalapradah, 

marapat tatsamipesuKasItulyaphalam bhavet. 
"' Api papasaiuacarali karmauyanadhikarinah, 

Salagramarcaka vaisya naiva yanti yamalayam, 

Kamaih krodhair madair lobhair vyapto yo'tra narSdhipsi, 

so'pi yati Harer lokam salagramasilarcanat. 

Salagramasilam distva yanti papanyanekasali, 

sirhhan distva yatha yanti vane migagana bhaySt. 
' * Salagramasilagre tu yah sraddham kurute narah, 

bhavanti pitaras tjptah kalasaiikhya tu naiva hi. 
This sloka occurs in the Matsyapuraua, it is also found in the Padma- 
purana where, however, the second half is as follows : pitaras tasya 
tisthanti tiptah kalpasatam divi. 


The world surrounded by the swarm of bees was set a-whirl- 
ing and whirled about to such an extent that Visnu afraid of 
the consequences, assumed the. shape of a rock and stopped 
the moving of Garuda and of the gods, upon which Garuda 
entered into a big hole of the rock, followed by all the 
gods as bees, who made themselves each a separate tene- 
ment for the conversion of the infidels."'' 

Lieutenant-Colonel F. Wilford^" says in his essay On 
the ancient Geograjjliy < if India : " The origin of this rocky 
" hill is connected with a most strange legend, which I shall 
"give in the abstract, Vishmi, unwilling to subject him- 
" self to the dreaded power, and influence, of the ruler of 
" the planet Saturn, and having no time to lose, was obliged 
" to have recourse to his MdyU, or illusive powers, which are 
"very great, and he suddenly became a rocky mountain.''^ 

' ' Hiranyagarblio bhagavan fidyiJ Narayanah srayam, 

vajrakitah prabhiitatvaooacara Tasudhatal?. 

Sauvarpatn bhramaraui dxstvri clevas tadriipadharipah, 

upataathur mahatmanam bhramantam atitfjasam ; 

^aclaughribhir jagataarTam vyaptam ctaccaiacaram, 

hiraH3'agarbliabhramarair bhi'.aniitam bhi-antavat sad;l. 

Distva jagatpatir Visijnr Vainateyani sanntanab, 

riuodha aailariipcpa jagatani hitak.arakah. 

KiruddhavOgah sahah.a vilam mahat, 

tasmin pravisto tadvilam vivisuh snbbam. 

Cakrus svam svam mahat vfsma kGsakaravat attnanali. 

naatikanam pvatyayartham vairakilah sadai'iglirayab (Dharmn- 

'» Sec Asiatic lu:searchc.'i and Tmnaactivns, Vol. XIV, p. 414 (Cal- 
cutta, 1822 

'' In A viexv ''f the history, literntitre, aii'J relujion of the l-findoos by 
the Eev. W. Ward (Madras, 1863) a similar story is given on pp. 174, 175 ; 
" Tbe reason why this stone has been deified is thus given in the Shreebha- 
guvutu : — Vishnoo created the nine planets to preside over the fates of 
men. Shnnee (Saturn) commenced his reign by proposing to Braniha, 
that he should first come under his influence for twelve years. Brumha 
referred him to Vishnoo, but this god, equally averse to be brought under 
the dreaded influence of this inausijieions planet, desired Saturn to call 
upon him the next diiy, and immediately assumed the form of amountain. 
The next day Saturn was not able to find Tishnno, hut discovering that 


" This is called S aila-mdya, of a rocky mountain the illusive 
"form, but Saturn soon found liim out, and in the shape 
" of a worm, forced himself through, gnawing every part 
" of this illusive body. For one year of Saturn was Vishnu 
" thus tormented, and through pain and vexation, he 
" sweated most profusely, as maj' be supposed, particularly 
"about the temples, from which issued two copious streams, 
" the Grishna or black, and the Sivcta-Ganddci or white 
" Gandaci ; the one to the east, and the other to the west. 
" After one revolution of Suturn, Vishnu resumed his own 
" shape, and ordered this stone to be worshipped, which of 
" course derives its divine right from itself, without any 
" previous consecration, as usual in all countries in which 
" images are worshipped." 

The stories told by Colonel Wilford and Rev. W. Ward 
about Saturn I have not been able to find as yet in any 
Purana. The Rev. W. Ward is, I think, wrong in ascribing 
his version to the Sribhagavatapurana. My suspicion is 
that both accounts are made up from different sources 
and that a legend of Visnu as Mohini forms the real basis 
of the narrative of Colonel ^\'ilford. 

In another Sanskrit tale the gods became Vajrakitas 
through the curse of Gandaki, who in her turn was cursed 
into becoming a black sluggish river, ''^ an allusion per- 

he had united liimself to mount Gundnkee, he entered the mountain in the 
form of a worm called vajrukeetu (thunderbolt worm). He continued 
thus to afflict the mountain-formed Vishnoo for twelve years, when Visli- 
noo assumed his proper shape, and commanded that the stones of this 
mountain should be worshipped, and should become proper representatives 
of himself i adding that each should have twenty-one m.irks in it, similar 
to those on his body, and that its name should be shalgramu." 

'* " Kitayonim prapadyetha" iti gapdakyali suran prati sape. Tena 
karmavipakena jada kisna nadi bhaveti devanam gaijdakim prati sape ca 
late Visnuna tatsamadhrmayoktam tatha : 

Sinu Brahman, Mahadeva ! Sinu dcva Gajanana ; 
sadguiian brahmamau grahamiltaiigau sapato' tra ^ni, 
Bhavisyatas tayor moksam bhavisyami kalcvaram, 
sirnam bhavisyati yada tanmedomajjasambhavSli, 


haps to the Krsna Gandaki mentioned above. Brahmau 
and Siva in fact assumed the form of Vajrakltas from the 
marrow and fat of a decayed body, but eventually the 
curse was removed through the agency of Visnu, the gods 
resumed their previous forms, and Gandaki became a pure 
and sacred river. 

The Salagrama-stone is in its various forms or murtis 
dedicated to the several deities and these forms have special 
names. The Bairdgis or wandering mendicants make the 
study of these various species their particular business, so 
much so that they are regarded as the proper authorities in 
this matter. Except an insignificant minority, all these shapes 
are dedicated to Visiiu, and in many instances more than 
one variety is ascribed to one and the same kind. There exist 
thus, so far as I know, 16 varieties of the Krsna-Salagrama, 
13 of Nrsiiiiha, 12 of Rama, 9 of Narayana, 6 of Gopala, 4 of 
Kurma, Varaha and Sudarsana respectively, 3 of Balarama, 
and 2 each of Vamana, ParasurRma, Damodara and Vasu- 
deva. Six and occasionally more shapes are ascribed to 
Siva, r) to Brahman, 2 to N'isnu and Siva collectively, and 
one each to the Trimurti, iS'ara, Laksmi, Sesa, Surya, Guha, 
Dattatreya, Kartavlryarjuna, Dharmaraja, Ganesa, Kmida- 
lini, and to the five household deities (paiicayatanatnQrtayah. 
i.e., to Aditya, Ambika, Visnu, Ganesa and Mahesvara).^^ 

P.nsanrintargatalj kila vajrakhyah prabhavisyatha. 

Seo Vnchaspat'ia, oompileil liy TariinathaTarkayachaspati, Yol. IV, p. 6000 
under Salagrama. 

'" The names of these milrtis of the Salagrama are . 

I, those of Tisnu : Matsya, Kiirma, Varaha, Sretavaraha, LaksraiYaraha, 
Bhii (Dharani) varaha, SuddhavarSha, Nrsimha, Vidarana Nrsiinha, 
Eaksasantakanrsimha, Aghoranrsimha, Mahanrsiiiiha, Yivrtasyanrsiriiha, 
Kuksinisiiiiha, Haranrsiriiha, Vibhisananiaiiiiha, Adhomukhanrairiiha, 
Kapilanrsiiiiha, Balanisimha, Laksminrsirii ha, Vamana, DadhivSmana, 
Santaparasurama, Ugraparasur3ma, Ramauiijrti, Dasaratharama, Sita- 
}'rLma, Tarakahrahmasitarama, Dasakanthaknhintakarama. Virararaa, 
Vijayarama, HTStarama, Kodandarama, Kalinasakararilma, l^rJrama, 
Padabliirama, Slrapani, Balarfima, Pralambhaghiia, Banddha, Kalki, 


Kundalini or Sakti is tlie same as Bhavanl, and to her two 
varieties are ascribed. It is even said that Mahadevi re- 
sides in the Salagrama.^ "^ The Salagrama-stone is found in 
Nepal in the upper course of the river Gandaki, also known 
as Salagrama, and marked on the maps as Salagrama river^ 

Kesava, Narayana (Maliauariiyaaa), Syamalanariiyaiia, Laksminarayana, 
Narauarayapa, RfipanarayaHa, Virauarayaija, Mayauarayana, Madhava, 
Govinda, Visuu, Mahavispu, iladhusiidana, Tri\-ikrama, Vamana, Dadlii- 
vamana, Sridhara, Hisikesa, Padmauabha, DamSdara, Laksmidamodara, 
Sai'ikarsai.ia, Vasudeva, Santa vasudeva, Pradyumma, Aniruddha, Purusot- 
tama, Adhoksaja, Acyuta, Janardana, Upendra, Hari, Krsna, Balakrspa, 
Gopalakisna, Govardhanakispa, Trailokyamohanakrspa, Saubhagya- 
varadakispa, Eiikmiplkispa, Vijayakisna, Ciidamanikrsija, Sanatanakrsiia, 
Dhananjayakisna, Pai-ijataharakiSMa, Syamantakaharakrspa, Kamsamar- 
dauakispa, Kaliyamardanakrsna, Caiiiiramardanakispa, Guvardhauagupala, 
Srigopala, Santanagopala, Laksmigopala, Madanagopala, Vamsagopala, 
Govardhanadhara, Vaiknntha, Hayagrlva, Caturbhuja, Pupdarikaksa, 
Sndarsana, Suddhasudarsana Ubhayasudarsana, Samasudarsana, Yoges- 
vara, Vispupanjara, Tajiiamiu-ti, Sirhsumaia, Haiiisa, Paramahamsa, 
Laksmipati, Garudadhvaja, Vatapatrasayiu, SesasJlyin, Visrambhara, 
Pitambharadhara, Satyavirasravas, Amrtaharana, Garuda, Vanamalin, 
Murari, Mukunda, SrivatsalaSchana, Dharaaidhara, Yogaraja, Srimnrti, 
Srisahaya, Devadera, Kapila, Avyaya, Kslrabhisayin, Musalayudha, Cakra- 
pajii, Bahariipa, Jagadyoni, Yisvakaena, Haibaya, &c. 

II, those of Siva : Sadyojata, Tamadeva, Agbora, Tatpurusa, Isana, 
Sarvasaujna, Saiikara, Candrasekhara, Sivanabha, Bhava, Tryambaka, 
Dhurjafi, Sambhu, Isv-ara, Mrtyuiljaya and Rudra. 

III, those of Brahman: Paramesthin, Pitaniaha, Hiranyagarbha, 
Svayambhii and Caturmukha. 

IV, the two miirtis ascribed to Vis an, and Siva collectively are Hari- 
hara and Sivanarayana. 

'" Salagraman, atho vaksye saktikitasamudbhaTan, 

yesam pfijanato devi Bhavani suprasidati. 

Srividyd sa tale cakramiirdhni chatram pradrsyate, 

vahye ghaptankita murdhna snigdha syamakhilestada. 

MuhdJcali tu sa jiieya yonicihnasamanvita, 

dvicchidradhya sarvasila trikopenankita ca ya. 

Yadayudhakitisoordhvam tam devim tatra nirdispt, 

devislla sucakra ya daksamargepa tam yajet; 

Sarjita vamamargena lokadvayasukhavaha , 

ya oakrarahita devlsilam tam vaniato'rcayet. 
See Matsyapurana XIII, 34 C : 

Salagrame mahadevi sivaliiige sivapriya. 


a northern tributary of the Gauges. The special portion of 
the sti'eam where the most valuable and most efBoacious 
stones are found is distinguished by the name of Cak- 
ranadij and said to be twelve yOjanas north of the lower 
Gandaki. The whole neighbourhood is highly esteemed 
and famous for its sanctity, so that a visit to the Sala- 
gramatirtha confers great merit on a man. The mighty 
king Bharata, however, was disappointed, for he did not 
obtain the desired happiness by staying in this place. The 
Gandaki was known to the ancients as Kondoclmtes, as I 
have already mentioned elsewhere.*' 

' ' See p. 1 14, N. 10, where I hinted that ii connection may exist between 
the name of the river and that of the Gand (Gond) aborigines. Compare 
also the Indische Alteiiluim.^l-unde von Christian Lassen, Vol. I, Zweite 
Auflage, 1807, p. 7o • 

" Der Hanptarm des Flusses entspringt bei Mastang auf dem 
Plateau-Lande im Norden des Dhavalagiri, zwischen welohem und dem 
Svetacihara er die hochste Kette durehbricht; an ihm ist eiu Pass nach 
Tibet. In seinem obern Laufe briu^t er Snlii>jrniua oder Amuioniten- 
Petrefacte mit sioh, in denen der Indische Glaube Verkiirperungen des 
I'ls/wnt erblickt ; daher seine Heiligkeit nnd der .starke Besuch seiner 
Wallfahrtsorte ; anch wird er selbst inlaiimml genannt iind mit einem 
Namen doR Gottes : ]!^ni-ajani ; wie bei der Jaumna und Gangil siud auch 
an seinem Qrsprnnge heisse Quellen. Er ist der Hauptstrom des Landes 
Kepiil im wciterri Sinne. Das Gebiet ihm im Westen bis zar Eapti heist 
Parvata, d. h, I'.L'rgland, oder MuhijabhUmi, drrselben Bedeutung; darunter 
n.ich Puden liegt das Gebiet Kaohi. {Knlarjnndlka, in Raj. Tar. IV, 5-15, die 
schwarze Gaiidika, wenn niclit etwas anderes dariu liegt)." Read also 
Col. Wilford's : On the ancient Geography of India, Asiatic Researches, 
Vol. XIV, pp. 412, 113, U5; "The Gandacl or Qandacavati is called 
Gmidac in the spoken dialects, and it is the Condochates oi Megasthenes . . . 
The name of this stone is written Salagram, Sailagrdm, Sailachacra, 
and Oandaci-Sila. Peopk-, who go in search of the Salagram, travel 
as far as a place called Thdcai-cote at the entrance nearly of the 
snowy mountains. To tlie south of it is a village, where they stop, 
and procure provisions. This village was probably called Saikumr or 
Pi(i7u;/mi», from its situation near a SniVa or rocky hill, and from it this 
famous stone was denominated Saihigrntii, as well as the river. Thacca 
is mentioned in Arroivsinilh's map. The river Gandaca is so called 
because it proceeds from a mountain of that name. The people of Nagpdla 
call it Cuiidan because it proceeds from the Cunda-sthala or the two 



Various legends are told about Graijdakij who appears in 
different guises as a deity, an Apsaras in the heaven of 
Krsna or Visnuj as the wife of an Asura, as identical with 
Tulasi or Vrnda, and as a river. The Sridevlbhagavata con- 
tains these stories in diiferent places, and I have put these 
accounts here together into one narrative, in order to point 
out their connection with one another. 

Tulasi (or Oandrthi according to other accounts) lived as 
a Gopi in Goloka, the heaven of Krsna, who was very fond 
of her. Rasesvarl (or Radh'i), another favorite wife of the 
god, saw once that Tulasi was dissatisfied with her husband, 
and, angry about it, cursed her into becoming a mortal. ^ 2 

cavities, or depressions of the temples of Vishnu, in the shape of a mountain, 

as I observed before." 

Dasayojanavistirfle mama kfietre dvijottama, 

Tittare oaiva digbhage pramanam yojanam tatha. 

Sanunama parvatastu cakranamiiiikita nadi, 

Visnunamarnsakotthani mama riipani sarvatalj, 

Trikalam sikharikiitasoapsaroganasevitaVi, 

Sailamiirtir aham tatra cakrakhyam tu oa yam vidulj. 

Sodasair npaoaraia tu tatrarcam samvidhaya ca, 

gandharvair vividliaisoaiva samstiiya Madhuaiidanam, &o. — 

{Padmapurana) . 
" GaBdakyasoottare tire girirajasya daksine, 
ksetram tu Vismusannidhyat sarvakaetrottamottamam, 
Tojanadvadasamitam bahutirthasamakulam, 
tatra Cakranadinamatirtham Brahmavinirmitam. 
Tasyottare mahasrngam mama pritikaram tatha, 
tacchayabhigatas tatra pasanasca Khagesvara." 

(Garwda'pumna), see p. 341, n. 57. The Salagramalalcsarta contains also 

these verses up to Brahmavinirmitam or Brahmaviniicitam and then 

continues as follows : 

Hiranyam vajrakitena nirraitaiscakrasancayaih, 
Salagriimasilas tatra tirthe tisthanti samyutah. 
Cakraiscihnaisca gacohanti nanamiirtinidhim priye, 
miirtibheda nigadyante tatraikasitinamakah. 
Brahmyah Saivyo madiyasoa varadanat samudbhavah, 
tasu martisu ya labdhah tatra pi7Jam caret budhah. 
= ^ See Devihhagavata IX, 17, 24 — 26 i 

24 Easesvarl samagafcya dadarsa rasamangale, 

govindam bhartsayamaaa mam easapa rueanvita, 



Radha had likewise cursed a Gopa called Sudaman, an 
admirer of Tulasi, causing him to leave heaven and become 
anAsura.^^ Krsna consoled Tulasi, who was aggrieved 
at the curse, by saying, that, through doing severe penance 
in her next birth, Brahman would grant her a boon in 
making her the wife of a person containing a portion {amsa) 
of himself (Krsna), and that eventually she would obtain 
her desire to be reunited with the god Narayana. In due 
time Tulasi was re-born in this world as the beautiful and 
highly gifted daughter of king Dharmadhvaja and queen 
Mddhavl, and she went immediately to the Badari forest 
to commence a most severe penance, in order to obtain 
Narayana as her husband, sitting in the hot summer 
season between five fires, and during the rainy season in 
wet clothes night and day exposed to the pouring rain. 
Altogether her penance lasted one hundred thousand divine 
years, during 20,000 of which she fed on fruit and water, 
30,000 on leaves, 40,000 with an empty stomach on air, and 
10,000 on nothing, while standing on one foot. A similar 
penance is undergone by the sage Upamanyu, for the sake 
of Mahadeva whom he wished to see and whom he placed 
above all the gods, as the Linga of no other god but that 
of Siva receives worship. To obtain this desire Upamanyu 
stood for a thousand years on the tip of his left toe, living 
for the first three hundred years, first on fruit, then on 

25 Yahi tram m.inavim yonini itypTam ca sasapa ha, 
mam uvaca sa Govindo madam sam ca caturbhujam. 

26 Labhisyasi tapae taptva bharato Brahmaiio varat, 
ityevam nktva deveso'pyantardhanam ciikara sail. 

About Tulasi possessing a superior portion of Prakrti, see ihidem IX, 1, 
63 — 70. Radha, the favourite of KrSna is in the Dpvibhagavata IX, 1, 
44 — 57 described as one of the five representatives of Sakti. 
•" See ihidem IX, 17, 28&— 29 ; see p. 354, note 85 : 

286 Sudama nama gopasca srlkrSBiliigasamudbhavali. 
29 TadamSascatitejasvi lebho janma ca bharate, 

sampratam Kiidhikasapat dann vam sasamudbhavali. 


withered leaves and lastly on water, and for the remaining 
seven hundred on air.^* 

' * See Devibhagavata IX, 17, 14— 19a : 

14 Sarvair nisiddha tapase jagama Badarivanam, 
tatra devabdalaksam ca cakara paramam tapal.i. 

15 Manasa Narayainassvami bhaviteti ca nisoita, 
grisme pancatapasSite toyavastra ca pravrai 

16 Asanastlia vrstidharas sahantiti divanisam. 
Vimsatsahasravarsam ca phalatoyasana ca sa 

17 Trimsatsahasravarsam ca patrahara tapasvinf, 
catvarimsatsahasrabdam vayvahara krsodari. 

18 Tatodasasahaarabdam nirahara babhava sa, 
nirlaksam caikapadastham drstva tarn KamalodbhavaVi. 

19 Samayayau varam datum param Badarikasramam. 
Compare with this Gandakipurana : 

(Narada uvaca) : Srotum icchami deyesa Salagramasya laksa- 

sarvasiddhipradatavyam sarvakamaprasadhakam. 
Karmasthane samutpannalj ke ca kali kaisoa piiiitali, 
pujitaih kim phalavaptir vidhanam tasya kidrsam. 
(Brahmovaca) : Divyavarsasahasram tu aradhya purnsottamam, 
tataa tutosa bhagavan varado me maiamune. 
Pancasatkotivistiriiiam bhiicakram Hariuirmifcam, 
saptadvipat tu tacchrestham JambSdvipam iti smrtam. 
Navakhandat ta tacchrestham Bharatam varsam uttamam, 
himasetii tayor madhye karmabhiimir ihocyate. 
Sarvadevasraya bhiimir bhdgamoksapradayiiif, 
sarvottamottamaksetram sarvatirthauisevitam. 
Darsanasparsauat va syat sayujyapadam apnuyat, 
raahata tapasa caiva prito bhavati Madhavab. 
Ajnanuddharanarthaya salagramasilapyabhiit, 
Gaudakyasoottare ramye girirajasya daksine. 
Dasayojanavistiriiam Hariksetram dvijottama, 
nilavarria tu niskranta cakranamankita nadf. 
Tisaupadambujat bhiitva m.ahapatakanasanr, 
aadakalam sthito Visijus tattirthe sarito munf. 
Tatraiva tatathita cakra nabhidvitricaturyuta, 
tatra tirthe dvija srestha sada sannihito Harih. 
See Mahabhdrata, Auusasanaparva, XIV, 168 — 70 : 

Tato'hara tapa aathaya tosayamasa Sankaram, 
ekam varsasahasram tu vamangugthagraviathitah. 
Bkam varsasatam oaiva phalaharaa tato'bhavam, 
dvitiyam slrnaparnaai tftjyam cambubhojanah. 
Satanam sapta caivaham vayubhaksaa tadabhavam, 
ekam varsasahaaram tu divyam aradhito maya. . . , 


Brahman at last appeared, listened to Tulasi's request, 
and told her that she would in the form of the TulasI plant 
be united with Narayana, but would previously become 
the wife of SaiikhacQda, who as Sudaman had lived in the 
Goloka and had also there made a severe penance in the 
Badarl forest. ^^ Tulasi was well pleased with the answer 
Brahman gave her, but still fearing B,adha, asked and 
obtained a mantra consisting of sixteen syllables as 
protection. She then became the wife of Sarikhacuda for 
the period of a manvantara. This Asura had meanwhile 
by his power, founded on a promise given to him by 
Brahman as a reward of his penance, subdued all the gods 
and sages, and had oppressed them to such an extent, that 
in their despair they went to Brahman for protection. He 
took them to Siva, and all went to Visiju who was in Yaikan- 
tha. Visnu told them the story of TulasI and Sarikhacuda, 
and gave to Siva a lauce or sQla with which to kill the Asura. 
Siva, however, could do this only if the Asura was deprived of 
his talisman or liuvaca, which the Asura wore always round 
his neck, as upon his wearing it, depended his power and 
his life. In the disguise of a Brahman, Visnu then visited 

See Deviihagavatu IX, 17, 30 — 36. — I translate here havaca by 
talisman and not by armour. 

30 Safikhaoiida iti khyatae trailokye na ca tatsamah, 
goloke tvam pura drstva kamonmathitamanasalj, 

31 Vilambitum na sasaka Radikayah prabhavatah, 
sa oa jatismaras tasmat Sudamabhiicca eagare. 

32 Jatismara tvam api sa sarvam janasi sundari, 
adhuna tasya patni tvam sambhaviByasi sobhane. 

33 Pascat Narayanam santam kantam eva varisyasi, 
sapat Narayanasyaiva kalaya daivayogatah, 

34 Bhavisyasi vrksanlpii tvam piita visvapavani, 
pradliina sarvapuBpesu Visijupranadhika btaveh, 

85 Tvaya vina oa sarvesam puja ca viphala bhavet, 

Brndavane vrksariipa namna Brndavaniti ca 
36 Tvatpatrair gopigopasoa pfijayijyanti Madhavam, 

vrksadhidevirijpeaa sardham Krsnena santatam. 


the demon, and obtained from Mm tte protecting havaca. ^® 
As soon as Sarikhacuda was thus deprived of his talisman, 
Siva attacked him with the sula, but the Asura knowing 
that his life had come to an end, prayed to Krsna, and 
after his death reassumed his previous state as the Gopa 
Sudaman in the Goloka. The bones of SaiikhacQda more- 
over turned to conches or saiikhas, which were heuceforth 
deemed so sacred, that Hari and Laksmi are said to reside 
in all the places where saiikhas are found.®'' 

Visiju had meanwhile assumed the outward appearance 
of Sankhaouda and had gone to the house where TulasI 
resided.® 8 She, believing him to be her husband, received 

■8 See ibidem IX, 19, 87—91 -. 

87 Ityevam Sankhaoiidasoa punastatraiva jiisyati, 
mahabalistho yogesas sarvamayavisaradalj. 

88 Mama sulam grhitva ca sfghram gaoohata Bharatam, 
Sivah karota sarinharam mama sfilena raksasah. 

89 Mamaiva kavacam kanthe sarvamangalakarakam, 
bibtarti danavas sasvat saihsare vijayl tatalj. 

90 Tasmin Brahmasthitenaiva na ko'pi himsitum ksamah, 
tad yaoanam karisyami viprariapo'ham eva oa. 

91 Satitvahanis tatpatnya yatra kale bhavisyati, 
tatraiva kale tadmrtyur iti datto varas tvaya. 

• ' See ibidem IX, 23, 23—28 : 

23 Atha siilam ca vegena prayayau tara ca sadaram, 
asthibhis Sankhaoiidasya sankhajatir babhfiva ha. 

24 NanaprakarariJpena sasvat piita surarcane, 
prasastam Saiikhatoyam ca devanam pritidam param. 

25 Tlrthatoyasvariipam ca pavitram Sambhuna vina, 
Saiikhasabdo bhavet yatra tatra Laksmis susamsthira. 

26 Sa snatas sarvatlrthesu yas snatas saiikhavariija, 
saiikho Harer adhisthanam yatra saiikhas tato Harih. 

27 Tatraiva vasate Laksmir duribhutam amaiigalam, 
striaam oa saikhadhvanibhis sjadranam oa visesatali. 

28 Bhitarusta yati Laksmis tatsthalat anyadesatah. 
Sivo'pi danavam hatva Sivalokam jagamaha. 

The Indian Antiquary contains in Vol. XVI, pp. 154—156, a popular 
version of this legend, in which the hero is called Jalandhara and Tulasi 
appears as Vrnda. 

8 » See ibidem IX, 24, 2b— 3a : 

2b Sankhaoiidasya kavacam grhitva "Vidnumayaya, 
3a punar vidhaya tadrupam jagama tatsatigrham. 


him with all the affection due to him as such, but eventually 
discovered that she had been deceived by an impostor, and 
in her rage, owing to his hard-heartedness, she cursed him 
so that he became a stone. Visnu had great difficulty in 
appeasing her, and in proving that whatever had happened, 
was due to previous fate, which had destined her to become 
the wife of Saiikhacuda in order to obtain afterwards 
Narayana as her husband, which she had herself desired in 
her previous birth ; for after her death, which was imminent, 
her body would become the river Gandakr, and her hair 
would be turned into the Tulasi plant. Visnu, moreover, 
reunited with her in the Gaiidaki river, would be with her in 
the form of the Salagrama-stone, while the Gandaki would 
become a pure and holy stream, and known as such through- 
out the world. 8 9 

'» See ibidem IX, 24, 23!)— 25a, 28—36, 56—58; 
236 He natha te dayii nasti pasa i asadrsasya ca, 

24 chalena dliarmabhai'igena mama svami tvaya hatali, 
PaaanahrdayaB, tvam hi dayahino yatali prabho. 

25 Tasmat pasanariipas tvam bhave deva bhavadhuna .... 

28 (Sribhagavani ■ Tapas tvaya krtam bhadre madarthe Bharate 

tvadarthfi Sarikhaoiidaica cakara siiciram tapali. 

29 Krtva tvam kaiuinim so'pi vijahara catatksanat, 
adhuna datum ucitam tavaiva tapasali phalam. 

30 Idam sariram tyaktva ca divyadeham vidhaya ca, 
Eame rama mayii sardham tvam Eamasadisi bhava. 

31 lyam tanur nadirnpa Gaudakiti ca visruta; 
puta snpuiiyada iiT-nam puwye bhavatu Bharate. 

32 Tava kesasamndhasca puijyavrkso bhavisyati, 
Tnlasikesasambhnta tulasiti ca visruta. 

33 Triau lokesu puspanam patrauam devapiijanc, 
pradhanariipii Tulasi bhavisyati varanane. 

34 Svarge martye ca patale goloke mama sannidhau, 
bhava tvam Tulasi vrkaavara puspesu aunnadi. 

35 Goloke virajatire rase brndavane vane, 
Bhapdire Campakavane ramye candanakanane 

36 Madhavi ketaki kunda nialika malativane, 

yasas te'traiva bhavatu punyasthanesu punyadah . . 


In fact the other Puranas pay more attention to the 
penance of Gaijidakl than to that of Tulast, the object of 
both being so far the same, as both penances are under- 
taken to obtain Visnu as a husband. In the Varaha- 
puraija, however, Gandaki expresses a wish to become the 
mother of Visnu and the same desire is mentioned in the 
LaksmiDarayanasaiiivada.'*^ The Padmapurana contains 
a story according to which Indra sent the nymph Manju- 
vac^^ to disturb the penance of the sage Vedasir as, who 

56 Aham ca sailariipena Gandakltfrasannidhau 
adhisthanam karisyami BhSrate tava sapatali. 

57 Kotisaiikhyas tatrakitaa tiksiiadarii stra varayudhaili, 
tacchailaknhare cakram karisyanti madiyatam. 

58 Bkadvaram catnscakram vanamalavibliiisitam, 
navinaniradakaram LaksmlnarayanSbhidham. 

'° Gandakyapi pnra taptam varsanam ayutatn vidhi". 

SirnaparnSsanam krtva vayubhaksapyanantaram. 

Divyam varsasatam tepe Visnum cintayati tada. 

Tatalj saksajjagannatho Harir bhaktajanapriyali. 

Uvaoa madhuram vakyam pritalj pranatavatsalalj, 

Gandaki tvam prasanno'smi tapasii vismito'naghe . 

Tato Mtnamso, sa devi Gandaki lokatariiii, 

pranjalilj praiiata bhiitva madhuram vakyam abravit. 

Tadi deva prasaunosi deyo me vSnohito varah, 

mama garbhagato bhntva Tisno matputratam n'aja. 

Tatalj prasanno Bhagavan oiutayamasa gopate, 

kim yacitara nimnagaya nityam matsangalnbdhaya. 

Dasyami yaoitam yena lokanam bbava moksanam. 

Ityevam krpaya devo niaoitya manasa svayam 

Gandakim avadat pritalj srnn devi vaoo mama. 

Salagramasilariipi tava garbhagatah sada. 

Tisthami tava putratve bhaktanngrahakarajjat, 

matsannidhyat nadinamtvam atisrestha bhavisyasi. 

Darsanat aparsanat snanat panat caivavagahanat, 

hariayasi mahapapam van manalj kayasambhavam {Vamhapurana). 

In the LaTcsminarHyanasamvada jSTarayaija or Visnu gays : 

Ganclakifapasa tustah putratv?nagata vayam. 
9 1 Asit atitakalpe vai munir Vedasira mahan, 

Gaigatlre tapaa tivram knrvan lokasukhavaham 

Tattapobhitaoittena Mahendrf na nrpatmaja, 

preaita Manjuv5g devl devakanya manohara .... 

Tatsparaaromanoitadebam enam jSatva avavasyam nijabahnpasam 


when he perceived her intention to distract him by her 
beauty from his penance, cursed her that she might 
become a river, but moved by her supplication that it was 
not her fault, she being only a servant of Indra, altered 
his decision in so far that she should become the holy 
river Gaudaki, in which according to the curse of Brnda 
(or Tulasi) Visnu would be reborn as the Salagrama-stone. 

So much about the connection which unites the worship of 
the Salagrama-stone with Visnn. Considering the compara- 
tively late date when Yisnu was identified with the Sala- 
grama-stone, it must long before have attracted the attention 
of the aborigines and been used by them as an object of 
worship, with this difference, however, that they regarded 
it as representing the female energy, their highest deity. 
Traces of this cult are in fact still extant, for various 
Salagramas are devoted to the principle of Sakti, when 
personating Bhavani and Kundalini. 

How and when the Salagrama became the emblem of 
Visnu is quite another question which is the more difficult 
to answer, when we consider the changes which Visiju, who 

tatkantliapiirsTc nidaclhe tadasau bubodha cattnauam anaiiga- 

Tatas tu krodhatamriikso munir Tedasira mahan, 
avastabhyatmanatmaDam sayapainam mahatapah. 
Tararigasitalatara bhujadvayasamanvita, 
srngarahradini bhiit-i-a viksipanti mamopari. 
Kamakundr majjayanti kseptukama bhavambudhau, 
yannadiva samahrsla tannadi bhaya bhamini. 
Evam sapti tu sa devi Manjuroh khinnamanasa, 
pratynvaoa munim dina prasadayapatat padoli. 
Fai-adhinasmi bho Brahman pritioestrini praknrvati, 
vinayavanata vSpi na saparhS praslda me. 
Tadovaca munih siinto nadi bhiitra Janardanain, 
avodaro dharayanti oa krtakrtyam janam kuru. 
Salagramasil.ii'ilpi Visiias tvayi janisyati, 
tvadyasovistaro lake inuktidatri nriiani iha 
Sairaisa Manju.vdg devI Gaudaki saritam vara, 
tasyam ViSBulj silarupl Brndasapat babhuva ha. 


first appears on the religious horizon of the Aryans as a 
Vedic Aditya, must have undergone in the estimation of a 
considerable portion of the Aryan population in India, 
However^ so much seems clear, that, at whatever period we 
are inclined to fix the adoption of the Salagrama as an 
emblem of Visnu, it must have been assumed at a consider- 
ably later day than the liiiga, which was most likely in 
some way or other already known to the ancient Aryans of 
India as a divine representation, and we are the more 
justified in this opinion, as the linga worship spread over 
the whole world, while that of the Salagrama must have 
been originally confined to this country, even if the worship 
of this stone should be found existing beyond the borders 
of India, for the Sillagrama-stone is a product peoulip.r to 
India. As a connection between Siva and the linga did 
not exist in the earliest worship of Siva, the representation 
of Visiiu by the Salagrama-stone must even be ascribed to 
later period. The changes in religious dogmas and the 
acceptance of new emblems of worship are of great histori- 
cal importance, however difficult it may be to account for 
them. I believe that the adoption of the Salagrama-stone 
by the Vaisnavas was made to mark their opposition to the 
worship of the lihga, and, if this assumption is true, the 
Vaisnava emblem must have been adopted at a later period, 
than was the linga by the Saivas. 

On the Modification of the Worship of Vi^nu. 

And this is also the place to consider and allade to the 
strange transformation which Visiju, the second person of 
the Trimurti, has undergone in the religious tenets of a 
very considerable, if not the most numerous, section of the 
Brahmanic community of India. No doubt Visiju repre- 
sents the preserving principle, and preservation can be 
appropriately regarded as one of the chief qualities of 
the female principle. Yet there is still a great gulf between 



the admission of the latter and the identification of 
Vispu with the female energy which the Smarta Brahmans 
revere in him. It is unnecessary here to lay stress on 
the various legends in which Visnu appears in the guise 
of the beautiful Mohim,^^ one of which is even directly 
connected with the origin of the GandakI river and the 
Salagrama-stone — a legend which for its indecency is 
hardly equalled by any other I know — as there exists early 
and indisputable evidence on this point. 

In consequence of the sacredness of its text, of the 
highest importance is in this respect a mantra of the 
Rgveda (X, 184, 1) which is repeated at the close of the 
wedding ritual- °'' It is also found in a passage of the 
mantraprasna of the Krsi^ayajurveda, i.e., in the fifth 
verse of the thirteenth chapter of the Apastambagrhya- 
sutra. Yisiju is here mentioned in connection with the 
female organ. This mantra goes back to a far distant age 
and is in consequence significant as it prepared the mind to 
still more important modifications of the position of Visnu. 
The peculiar wording of the Vedic text need not necessarily 
imply that Visnu is to be regarded as the representative 

"' Three occasions are specially noted when Visnu appears as Mohini, 
one is connected with the churning of the ocean, the other with Siva's 
visit as a begging brahmacarin in the Daruka forest, and the third with 
the giant Bhasmasura. The Sivarahiisj-a relates these legends at some 

" See Egveda, X, 184, 1—3. 

1. Visaur yonim kalpayatu tvasta rapawi piriisatu, 
a sincatn prajapatir dhatS garbham dadhatn te. 

2. Garbham dhehi sinivali garbham dhehi sarasvati, 
garbham te asvinau devavii dhattam puskarasraja. 

3. Hiraayayi arani yam nirmanthato asvina, 

tam te garbham havamahe dasame masi siitavo. 
(1. Visnu may form the womb, Tvasta may shape the forms, Prajapati 
pour in (the seed), DhatS may lay on thee the germ. 2. Grant germ, 
SinivSlT, grant germ o Sarasvati, the two Asvins, the gods, may grant 
the germ with flower garland, 3, which with golden wood the Asvins elicit, 
that thy germ we call for bringing it forth in the tenth month.) 


of the yoni, because the word kalpayatu can be explained 
as signifying taking care of, or protecting. ^ * In the 
Rudrahrdayopanisadj however, Visnu is identified with 
Uma,^^ who elsewhere is explained to represent the female 
organ. The above mantra is recited and addressed on the 
night of the nuptial ceremony to the bride and bridegroom, 
when sitting on their bed. 

I need not specially mention that in the vedika-linga the 
base immediately under the linga is assigned to Visnu, and 
that Brahman resides beneath him. 

I deem it necessary to make these remarks in order to 
explain the various aspects in which Visnu can be and is 
actually viewed at present by the various Hindu sects. 

** The common explanation is garhhcid}tnnal-sama'}n karotn. 
' ^ See Riidrahrdayopan isad .• 

Eudrasya daksine parsve Ravir Brahma trayo'gnayali. 
Vamaparsve Uma devi Visiiuh Somo'pi te trayah. 
Ta Uma sa svayam Visuur yo Visnuli sa hi Candramali. 
Ye namasyanti Goviudam te namasyanti Saiikaram. 
Ye'rcayanti Harim bhaktyii te'rcayanti Vrsadhvajam. 
Te dvisanti Yirnpaksam te dvisanti Janardanam. 
Ye Rudram nabhijananti te na jananti Kesavam 
Rudrah pravartate bijam bijayonir Janardanah. 
Compare also the following slokafrom the Skalisardpanisad : 

Tvam visvabhiir yoniparo'si garbhe kumara eko visikhassudhanva 
vitatya banam tarnnarkavarnam vyomantare bhasi hiraayagarbhah. 
The Vaidilidgama ascribed to Parasara contains the following verses in 
explanation to the above quoted Vedic mantra : — 

Visnur yonir iti srutva liiigapitham samJritam, 
adipitham bhaved Brahman, Mayapitham tu madhyamani, 
Urdhva vedir Yisaupitham Visriur yonir iti srntih. 
With this compare the following sloka in the Mahabharata, AnuSasana- 
parvan, XIV, 235 : 

Pulliiigam sarvani Isanam striliiigam viddhi cSpy Umam, 
dvabhyam tanubhyam vyaptam hi caracaram idam jagat. 
It is not necessary to quote further evidence in support of these views j 
this fact should, however, not be overlooked, that the SmSrias while 
regarding Vijnu as the representative of the female energy do not intend 
to throw any slui' on the character of that deity, whom they themselves 
daily worship with the greatest reverence. 


Visnu is painted of a dark blue colour^ with four hands, 
two of which ai-e open and empty, for granting consolation 
and conferring gifts ; in the other two he holds a cahra 
and a sahhha, of which I have spoken already. On his 
head he wears a crown and on his forehead the KastQri 
mark. His whole body is covered with pearls, jewels, gold 
and silver, and his garment is embroidered with gold, from 
the shoulders downwards garlands of flowers and of sala- 
gr&ma-stones encircle his body, while with his feet he rests 
on a lotus flower. 

As Visnu has retained his popularity among the people, 
his worship being very widely spread, and his thousand 
names uttered with piety by millions of his worshippers, 
the manifestations in which he is revered are also of neces- 
sity very numerous. Many non- Aryan superstitions, how- 
ever, have crept into his worship and are held sacred by 
his followers. Without entering now further into this 
subject, I wish to draw attention only to the adoration 
offered to him as Tirumala, Perumal, VitthObha, Venkoba 
(Vehkate'a), or Ballaji and others. His connection also 
with the Aiyanar legend proves the influence of the Gauda- 
Dravidian element, which had to be considered when 
expanding his worship among foreign non- Aryan tribes of 
the population. 

On VisNtj's Wives. 

Laksmi is the well-known and renowned wife of Visjju. 
She possesses as Visnu's Sakti all the female powers, and 
is specially famous as the goddess of beauty. As Maha- 
laksml she combines the eight kinds of prosperity and is as 
such called Astalakpm. These eight prosperities are (I) 
Mahalak^mi, the great Laksmi, that is herself, from whom 
the others depend ; (2) Dhanalaksml, the goddess of wealth ; 
(3) Dhdnycdaksml,, the goddess of grain ; (4) DJiai/ryalak^ml, 
the goddess of venture; (5) Vlralak^ml, the goddess of 


bravery ; (6) Vidyalahsmi, the goddess of wisdom ; (7) 
Santanalak^mi, the goddess of progeny; and (8) Bhagya- 
lak^ml, the goddess of fortune. LaksmI is represented as 
the wife of Visinu at every avatara where he is regarded as 
married. As LaksmI she appeared in the avatara of 
Narasimha ; as Slta, in that of Eania ; as Dharanl (Bhumi) 
in that of Parasurama ; as Rukminl in that of Krsxia ; and 
as Padma when Visuu was an Aditya. According to one 
legend she was the daughter of Daksa or of Bhrgu, while, 
according to another, she sprang from the sea of milk when 
the gods churned the ocean to obtain the di'ink of immor- 
tality, or she with her friends arose from the amrta at the 
same time as the Amrtalinga came into existence. LaksmI 
is on account of this coincidence regarded as the sister of 
Siva. 9 6 

Visi;iu possesses also two other consorts, Bhumidevi and 
Nila. The former is the goddess of the earth and the mother 
of everything which exists on it. She is the prototype of 
humility and she carries patiently her burden. She is 
revered, especially in South India, and invoked as a 
witness of everything that happens on earth. She is repre- 
sented with two hands, one of which hangs down empty, 

" Laksmi is described as an ariisa of Sakti in Vevihhagavata III, 6, 
49—51, and also ilidem IX, I, 22—28. 

22. Suddhasattvasvarupa ya Padma sS paramatmanah, 
sarvasampatsvarflpS sEl tadadhistliatrdevatil. 

23. KJntatidantS ianta ca susil5 sarTamaiigala 

24. Bhaktanarakta patyusoa sarvabhyasca pativrata 
pranatnlya bhagavatali premapatram priyamvada. 

25. Sarvasasyatmika devi jlvanopayanipini 
Mahalaksmisca vaikuathe patisenS rata satf. 

26. Svarge ca svargalaksmisca rajalaksmi^carajasu, 
grhesu grhalaksmlsca martyanSm grhinam tatha. 

27. SarvaprSiiisu dravyesu sobhanipa manohara 
prltinlpa punyavatam prabhariipa nrpesu ca. 

28. Vaiiijyariipa yanijam papinam kalahankura 
dayariipa ca kathita devokta sarvasammata. 


while the other holds a lotus flower. Her skin is brown, her 
face red ; on her head she wears a crown, and she stands on 
a lotus flower. In her dress and ornaments she resembles 
the other goddesses. She is worshipped in the temples, 
her image standing on the left side of Visnu, while that of 
Labsmi is on his right. She may be connected with the 
Aryan Dharanl, Demeter or Ceres, or perhaps with the 
Gauda-Dravidian goddess of the earth, who plays such an 
important part, especially among the G-onds.^^ 

Nlla is also called Nagnajiti, the daughter of Nagnajit, 
the king of the Gandharas, she stands with BhQmi on the 
left side of Visnu. She is of green-colour and especially 
revered in the southern part of South India. ^^ 


On B'ud'ra ar Siva. 
Gkneeal Remaeks. 
Rudra, the howler or roarer, who, armed with a strong 
bow shoots fleet unerring arrows at the wicked, occurs in vari- 
ous hymns of the Rgveda, either as a distinct separate deity 

" ' In the Bhiisakta she is described as dark-brown, adorned with 
jewels and garments of different colours, seated on a lotus (or with four 
arms), with swelling breasts, with eyes like blue lilies carrying ears of 
corn and wearing a parrot. 

SyamSm vicitram sukai'atuabhiisarL5m 
PadmSsanam (or caturbhujam) tuiigapayodharanvitam 
Indivaraksim dhrtasalimaujarim [or navasalimanjarim) 
Sukam dadhSnam vasudham bhajSmahe, 
" » Bhagavad Ramanujacarya describes the three goddesses Sri, Bhii, 
and Nlla as follows in his work Nitya : " Bhagavantam pranamya daksi- 
natah Srim Sriyai nama iti gorooanavarnam Sriyam avShya pranamya, 
vame om Bhiim Bhiimyai nama iti iySmam Bhiimim tatraiva nim KilSyai 
nama iti haritavarnam NilSm om sarvSbhyo bhagavaddivyamahisibhyo 
nama itisarva bhagavaddivyamahisissamantatah praaamet iti", as quoted 
in the Gopnlacle^ikahnikam. 

In DevIbhSgavata IX, 1, 936 — Wia VasundliarS is described as possessing 
sn, superior share of Prakrti. 


01- as Agni. His energetic sons are the swift Maruts. Though 
generally appearing as a destroyer of men and cattle, he 
is likewise revered as the greatest of physicians dispensing 
healing medicines. He is therefore also called the benevo- 
lent and auspicious, or Siva ; however, he is not mentioned 
in the Egveda as Siva.^^ He is likewise called Sankara, 
the propitious, and revered as Bhava, a deified king, or the 
bowman Sarva (who both are often mentioned together), 
as Nilakantha or Nllagriva, whose throat turned blue by 
swallowing the poison at the churning of the ocean, as 
Girisa [Girisa), the lord of the mountain, as Pasupati, the 
lord of cattle, and as MahdcUva or Mahesvara he is identi- 
fied with the supreme spirit, yea even with Visnu ; eventu- 
ally he is even called the creator of Brahman and Visnu. 
He destroys the castles of the Asuras, he fights with Visnu 
as well as with Krsiia, and is worshipped by both these 
gods, as he is also by Brahman. At times he is identified 
with Visvakarman, when Visvakarman appears as a mortal 
or of earthly origin. With the various forms of Rudra may 
be compared the various Rudras who are mentioned 
together in the Rgveda along with the Vasus and Adityas, 
and, as in the case of Visiju, these different names represent 
different gods who in course of time have been all merged 
into the great supreme deity, the dread member of the 
Hindu Trimurti. By those who do not worship him, he is 
regarded as an offspring of either Brahman, Visnu or Krsna. 
In every Kalpa he is, differing in color, born as a kumara 
from Brahman. Siva is now generally represented white, 
though as Kala or Mahakala (time) he appears black. As 
Ardhandrlsa his body is half male, half female, uniting in 
himself the principles of generation. His body is sur- 
mounted by one or by five heads decorated with a crown. 
With these five faces which represent Brahman, Visi;iu, 

" This name may have also been given to Rudra euphemistically. 


Rudra, Mahesvara and Sadasiva correspond the five actions 
ascribed to liim. These actions are creation, preservatioiij 
destruction, vanishing and grace. "^ " As Paiicanana ' " ' he 
has fifteen eyes, ten arms and hands, two hands are empty, 
with the four hands on the right he holds a deer, a lance, 
a tambourine and a sword respectively, and in those on the 
left a battleaxe, a trident, lire and a shield. When repre- 
sented with one face he has generally four hands,'"- two 
of which appear empty in a blessing and fear-forbidding 
attitude, while in the other two he carries an antelope and 
battleaxe, or a trident and a noose. His other emblems are 
a rosary, a boar's tusk, a human skull, &c. He has three 
eyes, the third standing high in the middle of his forehead, 
representing as it were, the three varieties of time, the past, 
present and future. '"^ On his forehead he wears three 

""> See Sarvadarsanasangraha, pp. 96 and 97 • 

Pafioayidham tatkrtyam srstisthitiaarhharamatirobhavah 
tadvadanugrahakaranam proktam satatoditasyasya. (97) 
and : anugrahatirobhavadanalaksanasthitilaksanodbhavalaksanakr- 
tyapaiic.akakarariam. (96) 

' ° ' Siva is called, when represented witli five faces, Pauoamukha, Pail- 
cavaktra, Paiicanana, Pancnsya, etc. -As no special temples are dedicated 
to Budra, Mahesvara, and Sadasiva, these three are under the name of 
I&vara revered as Siva ; see p. 385 on the five-faced liuga. 

' "- To Siva are at diiierent times assigned two, four, eight or ten arms 
and hands i his image at Elephanta representing him as Mahakala has 
eight arms, two of which are broken, four hold a human figure, a sword, a 
basin and a sacrificial bellj while the remaining two draw a veil, which 
covers the sun and causes the destruction of the world. 

"" As such he is called Trikalajna (also the name of Krsna), Trioaksus, 
Trinayana (Trinayana), Trinetra, Trilocana, Tryaksa and Tryambaka. 
Similarly are Zeus and Jupiter called Triophthalmos and Trioculus. 
According to a widely spread legend Siva placed a third eye on his fore- 
head to prevent a re-occurrence of the calamity which happened to the 
world once when Parvati in play covered his two eyes vrith her hands. 
Siva is described in the Vcvlhhagavata III, 3, 11—13, IX, 2, 83—88 and 
elsewhere : 

11 Nirgato bhagavan Sambhur vrslrfidhah trilooanah 
pancanano dasabhujah krtasomardhasekharah. 


parallel white stripes, the Tripundra or Vibhuti and a moon's 
crescent near his central eye. His body is decked with 
jewels and gold and silver ornaments ; as a necklace he wears 
a string of flowers or a serpent and over his shoulders hangs 
a garland of skulls. His abdomen covered with a coloured 
clothj and a golden girdle encircling his waist, he stands 
with his two feet on a water lily. 

He goes under many names ; the Mahabharata contains 
a thousand and eight of them, and manifold are the occupa- 
tions assigned to him, high and honorable as well as low 
and disreputable, for he is styled the general of the gods, 
the king of the Bhutas, and also the lord of thieves, assum- 
ing indeed occasionally the garb of the latter. In the braids 
of his hair he intercepted on his head the Gariga, which 
was descending from heaven and kept her there confined 
for some time until as Bhagirathi she descended below to 
the earth. To preserve the gods he swallowed, as already 
mentioned, the poison which was at the Korma-avatara 
ejected by the serpent Vasuki. To save the world from 
sudden darkness when Parvati had covered his eyes, he 
placed a third eye on his forehead. To him as well as 
otherwise to Brahman is assigned the highest of the fourteen 

12. Vyaghracarmaparidhano gajacarmottarryakah 
parsniraksau mahavirau Gajananasadananau. 

13. Sivena saha putrau dvau vrajamanau virejatuh, 
nandiprabhrtayas sarve ganapasoa varasoa te. 

83. Siiddhasphatikasankasah satakotiraviprabhah 
trisSlapattisadharo vyaghracarmambaro Harali, 

84. Taptakancanavarnabho jatabharadharalj paralj 
bbasinabhiisitagatrasca sasmitalj Candrasekharali, 

85. I'igambaro nilakanthalj sarvabhijsanabliusitah 
bibhraddaksiaahastena ratnamalam susamakrtam, 

86. Prajapan pancavaktreiia brahmajyotih sanatanam 
satyasvarupam srikisnam paramatmanam fsvaratn, 

87. Karaiiam karananam oa sarvamaiigalamangalam 
janmamrtyujaravyadhisokabhitiharam param. 

88. Samstuya mrtyor mrtynm tarn yato mrtyunjayabhidhah 
ratnasimhSsane ramye samuvasa Harah purali. 



worlds, or the seventh of the upper worlds commonly known 
as Satyaloka, the world of the good and virtuous.i°* His 
favorite abode, in fact the paradise of Siva, is the top of the 
high Kailasa mountain, which is often frequented by Kubera. 
His power is supreme, and his vigor is increased by hymns. 
The most sacred \^edio text, the Grayatrl, has been adapted 
for his special glorification . ^ '-' ■' A person who does not revere 

"'* See Note 111 on p. 301. 

">= These altered versions of the Gayatri are mainly extant in the 
Jtrirayaiilyopanisad (a portion of the Taittiriya Araiiyaka) and in the 
Lingapurajaa. In the former extract the deities invoked are : Radra, 
Danti, Nandi, Sanmukha, Garuda, Brahman, Visiin, Narasiinha, Aditya, 
Agni and Durgi (standing for Durga). The prayers in the Lingapurana 
begin and end with Siva (Endra) and his wife Gauri (Durga), and after 
the verses in honour of his sons, vehicle and follower, come those concern- 
ing Visnu, Brahman and six guardians of the quarters of the world, with 
the omission of Kiiberaand Isana ("^iva), instead of whom stand Rndraand 
Durga. As I shall return to this subject I quote here in full those 

Nn rinjamydpanisad I, 5 — 7 (Telug'u edition, pp. 824, 825) : 
Purusasya vidmalj sahasraksasya mahadevasya dbimahi tanno Biidrah 
pracodayat. Tatpurusaya vidmahe vakratundaya dhimahi, tanno Dantih 
pracodayat. Tatpui'usaya vidmahe cakratundaya dhimahi tanno Nandih 
pracodayat. Tatpurusaya vidmahe mahasonaya dhimahi tannah San- 
mvl-hah pracodayat. Tatpurasaya vidmahe suvarnapaksaya dhimahi 
tanno Garndnli pracodayat. Vrdiitmanaya vidmahr hiranyagarbhaya 
dhimahi taiinn Brahmh pracodayat. >i arayaRSya vidmahe vasudevilya 
dhimahi tanno Visnvh pracodayat. Vajranakhaya vidmahe tiksnadara- 
strara dbimahi tanno Xarnsimltah pracodayat. Bhaskaraya vidmahe 
mahadyutikaraya dhimahi tanno Adityah pracodayat. Vaisvanaraya 
vidmahe lalilaya dhimahi tanno ^-If/ni?! pracodayat. KatyFiyanaya vidmahe 
kanyakumari dhimahi tanno Diir<jih pracodayat. 

With respect to Katyayavaiia and Dt'.rgih Sayana says in his commentary 
that the expression Katyayanaya refers to the worship of Dtirga that 
Durgi stands for Durga, and that the Vedio language is not strict in its 
forms (Durgam prarthayatr Katyaynnnya iti . . . Durgili Durga 
liiigadivyatyayah sarvatra chandaso drastavyah). 

See Lingapurana II, 48, 4 — 5 (Telugu edition, p. 396) : 

4. Saktinam sarvakaryesu yonikuiidam vidhij^ate 
Gayatrim kalpayfcchamboh sarvesam api yatnatah 

5. Sarve Kadrarasaja yasmat sahksepena vadamivah. 
(Mantram. Gayatribhedalj :) 

Tatpurusaya vidmahe vagvisuddhaya dhimahi tannah Sivah pracodayat, 


Siva does not obtain final beatitude. ^ ° ^ He seizes his victims 
at a sacrifice^ and accepts even human creatures as offerings. 
He is shunned and feared in consequence of his violence 
and fierceness. He cursed and turned to ashes Kandarpa, 
the god of love ; offended by Daksa, his father-in-law, he 
interrupted and nullified his sacrifice, and in the shape of 
Virabhadra cut off his head ; he pulled out the beard of 

Ganambikayai vidmahe karmasiddhyai oa dhimahi tanno Gauri praco- 

Tatpurusaya vidmahe mahadevaya dliimahi tanno Rudrah pracodayat. 

Tatpurusaya vidmahe vakratnndaya dhimahi tanno Eantih pracodayat. 

Mahasenaya vidmahe vagvisuddhaya dhimahi tannah Skandalj praco- 

Tiksnasrngaya vidmahe vedapadaya dhimahi tanno Vrsah pracodayat. 

Harivaktraya vidmahe rudravaktraya dhimahi tanno Nandl pracodayat. 

Narayanaya vidmahe Vasudevaya dhimahi tanno Visnuh pracodayat. 

Mahambikayai vidmahe karmasiddhyai ca dhimalii tanno Laksmih pra- 

Samuddhrtayai vidmahe visiiunaikeua dhimahi taunu Dhara pracodayat. 

Vainateyaya vidmahe suvarnapaksaya dhimahi tanuo Garudah praco- 

Padmodbhavaya vidmahe vedavaktraya dhimahi tannah Srajta, praoo. 

Sivasyajayai vidmalie devanipayai dhimahi tanno Vaca pracodayat. 

Devarajaya vidmahe vajraliastaya dhimahi tannah -^akrah pracodayat. 

Rudranetraya vidmahe saktihastaya dhimalii tanno Vahnih pracodayat. 

Vaivasvataya vidmahe dandahastaya dhimahi tanno Yamah pracodayat. 

Nisacaraya vidmahe khadgahastaya dhimalii tanno Xiritih pracodayat. 

SuddhahastSya vidmahe pasahastay a dhimahi tanno Varunah pracodayat. 

Sarvaprapaya vidmahe yastihastaya dhimahi tanno Vayulj pracodayat. 

Sarvesvaraya vidmahe siilahastaya dhimahi tanno Rudrah pracodayat. 

Katyayanyai vidmahe kanyakumaryai dhimahi tanno Durga pracodayat. 

Evam prabhidya gayatrim tattaddevanuriipatah. 

Professor Albreeht Weber first drew attention to these Gayatris in the 
first volume of his Indisrhe Stiodien, and Dr. J. Muir has treated on 'this 
subject in his Original Sanskrit Testis, Vol. Ill, pp. 263, 264, and Vol. IV, 
pp. 425—430. 

1°° Sivapiijani vina jantoh muktir naiva bhavet bhuvi (Siitasariihita). 
Siva is addressed by his worshipper with the following prayer : 

Vande Sambhnm Umapatim snragurum, vaude jagatkaranam, vande 
pannagabhiisapam mrgadharam, vande pasiinam patim, vande siiryasa- 
sankavahninayanam, vande mukundapriyam, vande bhaktajanasrayam 
oa varadam, vande Sivam Saiikaram. 


Bhrgu who had offended him by his laughter, he tore out 
the eyes of Bhava after he had felled him to the ground, 
and beat out the teeth of PQsan who, while laughing, had 
shown his teeth. ^ ° ' 

Siva is worshipped all over India. In the North he is 
revered in the Himalaya, who, personified as the god of the 
mountain, is the father of his wife Uma or Parvati. At 
Gaiigadvara, where the earthly Gaiiga breaks through the 
mountain peak^?, his shi-ine is crowded with pious believers. 
Celebrated temples of Siva are in Gokariia in the West, in 
Kalinga in the East, and South-India abounds particularly 
in sacred places devoted to his worship. If the number of 
localities and of shrines dedicated to Siva affords an estimate 
of the extent of his popularity, he must be certainly con- 
sidered the most generally revered god of the Indian pan- 
theon, and his worshippers rank among tlio most powerful 
portion of the Indian population. This popularity he also 
owes greatly to the qualities ascribed to him, qualities which 
appeal particularly to the sympathy of the aboriginal inhabi- 
tants. And in fact of all the three gods of the Trimui-ti 
it is Siva, who, by his intimate connection with the 
earth, represents chiefly the Non-Aryan or Turanian 
element in the Hindu theogony, and he does this in 
his capacitor of lord of the mountain and master of the 
ghosts. The worship of the ancient Gauda-Dravidians 
was specially celebrated on mountain tops, his Avife 
Parvati was the mountain goddess Kar' e^o^v^, while 
to their son Subrahmanya are sacred all the hills and 
mountain peaks. 

To Siva are ascribed twenty -five various forms or /;/cXs, and 
according to theLiugapurana also twenty-eight avataras.' ^ ^ 

10' With this legend is connected the custom of cooking rice in 
milk (pnlpongal) in the Pongal festival, in order to present it to the tooth- 
less Pilfan. 

i°» They are called: Caudrasekhara, Umapati, Vrsabhavahana, Maha- 
taiulava, Girijakalyaua, Bhiksatauu, ManmathadaLaua, Kalamardana, 


When worshipping Siva, his followers draw with ashes 
of cowdung the Vibhuti on their foreheads, and place in the 
middle of fhe second line a black dot or aksata.. They also 
besmear their bodies with sandal-powder and hang a rosary 
of rudraksa-berries (rudraksamala) round their necks. Siva 
isj however, principally adored in the form of the linga. 

On the Liiiga. 

The emblem of his worship is the liriga. Its origin in 
India is shrouded in mystery, and the opinions of compe- 
tent scholars are greatly divided whether to ascribe to it 
an Aryan or a Non- Aryan source. 

There occur in the Rgveda two words which have been 
connected with the linga, the terms simadevah and 
vaitasa,^ "^ No competent authority applies the expression 
sisnadevdh to the Non- Aryans, as if the god they adored 
was the sisna or membrum virile. The commentary ascribed 
to Sayana gives as its meaning unchaste men, though we are 
not compelled to abide by this rendering. Professor von 
Roth translates it in German as Schwanzgotter, implying 
by this expression, that the original term should be taken 
sarcastically as priapic or sensual demons. Sisna signifies 
also tail.ii* 

Tripuraharana, Jalandharaharana, Mahalii'iga, Daksadhvaraharaijavira- 
bhadra, Sarabhendra, Ardhanarisvara, Bralimasiroharana, Kaiikaladhara, 
Khandesvara, Visapana, Cakradana, Ganesa, Somaskanda, Natesa, Sukha- 
miirti, Daksiuamurti and Gaiigadhara. Compare Note 24, p. 308. 

About the Avataras see Lingapnrana, VII, 30 — 35, and XXIV. These 
28 avataras are : Sveta, Sutara, Damana, Suhotra, Kaiikaua, Lokaksi, 
Jaigisavya, Dadhiva hana, fisabha. Muni, XJgra, Atri, Subalaka, Gautama, 
Vedasirsa, Gokarna, Guhavasin, Sikhaiadabhrt, Jatamalin, Attahasa, 
Daruka, Laigalin, Mahakaya, Sulin, Mundisvara, Sahisnm, SomaSarman 
and Lakulin. 

i"" See about iisnadevah Jigveda VII, 21, 5 and X, 99, 3, and about 
vaitasa JRgveda X, 95, 4 and 5. 

1 1 ° Sayaaa to Bgveda VII, 21, 5 : " Sisuadevali, sisnena dl vyanti kridanti 
iti sisnadevah, abrahmacaryah ityarthah, tatha oa Yaskah . . sisnadevah 
abrahmacaryali." Durga, the commentator on the Nirukta, explains 
iisnadevah by : sisneua uityam eva prakirnabbih stribhilj eakam krl<lanta 


The word vaitasa, reed^ occurs in the conversation 
between UinrasI and PurQravas twice euphemistically in 
the sense of membrum virile. However much light these 
expressions may throw on the moral and social character of 
the ancient Aryans, they throw none whatever on the 
nationality of the linga worship, which according to its 
very nature need not have been confined to any particular 
tribe or race. 

The Rev. Dr. Stevenson ' ' ' in various essays and espe- 
cially in that entitled the Ante-Brahmanical religion of 
the Hindus was one of the first to suggest that the 
worship of Siva, and especially his worship in the form of 
the Linga was of Non-Aryan and not of Aryan origin. He 
pointed out that " Siva is not named at all in the ancient 
" Hymns of the Veda, and therefore we have no evidence 
" that such deity was worshipped by the ancient Brahmans. 
" Although Rudra must be held as identified with Agni, 
" Agni cannot be identified with the Siva of the Puranas. 
" The place that Siva now occupies in the Saiva system, 
" and Vishnu in the Vaishnava, was held in ancient times 
" by Soma. How very different the rank attributed to 
" Rudra is, and how clearly he is identified with Siva in 
" the Linga Purana, the composition of one of his sectaries, 
" appears from every page. That Daksha considered that 

asatc srantaui karmaiiyiitsrjya. See Jaslca's Nirul-fa lierausgegebeu von 
Rudo]p)i Roth, Gottingen, 1852, p. 47 ; " Die (jivnadeva, wie es soheint ein 
spottendei- Name ftir geschwanzte oder wolliiBtige Demonen.'' Professor 
A. Ludwig translates iiSnadcva hj "Phallus vererer." For siimj in the 
sense of tail see Bgveda I, 105, 8. 

"' See Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and 
Ireland, Vol. VIII, pp. 330-339. 

In the SanatTcumarasawliltd we find the following vex'ses : 
Kim kartavyani manusyena jagatkSrauapajanam 
sisnopasthakrtiniayam jagatkarawam aiavaram, 
Miirtitrayaikyam vijneyam sarvavedatmakam param 
Kiipaiiipilhani sandhyasu sivaliugam samarcayrt. 
Visvai'iipo mahesanas tena priiaati Bai'ikarah. 


" lie had all the Rudras present with him, though he had 
" not invited Siva, and that none of the ancient Munis 
" except Dadliicha, looked on Siva as possessing any right 
" to a share in the sacrifice, and that, moreover, his sacred 
" rites were not performed after the Brahmanical method. 
"If it is impossible to identify Siva with any of the gods 
" of the Veda, much less is it possible to trace any connec- 
" tion between the symbol of the Linga, under which he 
" is usually adored, and any of the ancient Brahmanical 
" emblems. There is an obscure intimation in the Linga- 
" Purana itself, that the worship of the Linga was only 
" introduced at a late period. Our conclusion from these 
"authorities in reference to the worship of Siva is strength- 
" ened by the fact, that the sacred places considered as 
" the peculiar residence of Jyoti-Lingas, are generally in 
" the south and north-east of India, at a great distance 
" from the originally Brahmanical Settlements, to the 
" north of the Ganges and west of the Sarasvati, none 
" being nearer than Mount Abu in Guzarat ; and that the 
" south of India is almost the only place where the sect of 
"the Lingayats abounds; and that in the south and east 
" of India the worshippers of Siva and his incarnations, 
" are far more numerous than those of Vishnu, while in the 
" north-west the contrary is the case. That the Linga is 
" not origiually a Brahmanical object of worship, seems to 
" me very evident by a fact that I have not seen noticed, 
" but which as far as the Marathi country, where Saivas 
" greatly prevail, is concerned, I can vouch for from an 
" extensive observation ; it is, that no Brahman officiates 
" in a Liiiga temple. The Brahmans alone ofiiciate as 
" image dressers in the temples of Vishnu, and of all the 
" gods connected with the ancient Brahmanical worship ; 
" but for the temples of the Liriga, a distinct order of men 
" originally of Sudra origin, have been set apart, and form 
" now a separate caste under the name " Gurava." 


The late Professor Christian Lassen thought that the 
liiiga was an emblem peculiar to the aboriginal inhabitants 
of India, as it is particularly used by Siva's worshippers 
in South India, and because Brahmans never officiate in 
South India as priests in such linga-temples.^ ^'^ He fur- 
ther speaks of a goddess Mahdsahd, the mother of the gods, 
which is revered in the shape of a liiiga or of a Phallus. ' ' *' 
The word Mahasaha appears to stand for Mahisaha, a popu- 
lar form for MaMsaghnl, slayer of the demon Mahisa, which 
is an epithet of Durga ; however, I do not know anything 
about her connection with the linga-worship. Professor 
Lassen's opinion was mostly founded on the statements of 
the Rev. Dr. Stevenson. The Rev. Dr. Germann, in his 

"'' See Christian Lassen's Inrlisclie Altertliumskn.nde, Vol. I, pp. 924, 
925 (old edition, p. 783) ; " Civa ist audi ein Vertilger der bosen Geister. 
Die Verehrung dieses Gottes unter ilem Bilde des Ungu, des Phallus, wird 
sohon in mehreren Stellen des grossen Epos erwiihnt. Da dieses Symbol 
besonders bei den Verehrern dee ^im im siidlichen Indien im Gebrauche 
ist, lasst sich vermuthen, dass es bei den Urbewohnern sich vorfand und 
erst spater auf Civa iibertragen worden ist. Was dafiir spricht, ist dieses, 
dass noch jetzt die Brahmanen des Siidens nie bei Tempeln, in welcliem 
das li-n'ja verehrt wird, das Amt des Priestei-a annehmen." Compare 
iiidem. Vol. IV, pp. Ii33, 237, and 617 ■ " Die Verehrung des firo ziihlt in 
dem grossen Oobicto im Nordeu des Viiirlhya jetzt wenig eifrige Anhanger, 
obwohl es eino bedeutende Zahl Ton ihm geweiheten Tempeln giebt, iu 
denen er in der Gestalt des linria oder des Phallus angebetet wird; eine 
Ausnahme biklet nur sein Tempel in Benares, wo er den Namen Yi(;xer,vara, 
d. h. Herr des Alls, tiihrt. Dagegen waltet heut zu Tage der Kult dieser 
Gottheit in Dekhan vor." 

''^ Ibidem, Vol. TV, p. 265: " Pernor in dem Difnste der HoM und der 
Mahasahh genannten Gottinnen ; das Fest der ersten Giittin ist eiuem Kar- 
neval iihnlich ; die zweite Gottin gilt als Matter der Gutter und wird in der 
Gestalt eines li>vja oder eines Phallus angebetet." The Rev. F. Kittel, in 
his excellent essay Uehfi- tJeii Urapriiinj des Lingal-ultus in Indien, Manga- 
lore, 1876, remarks on pp. 9, 10 : " Mit Bezug auf die im Nordwestlichen 
Dekhan verehrte Gottin Mahasaha must der Schreiber dieses bekennen, 
dass er eine seiche nicht kennt, wie es auoh Andern ausser ihm geht. 
Der Name selbst ist indess Sanscrit : ' sie die machtig aushiilt,' oder : ' sie 
die machtig siegt.' Dieser Umstand deutet auf einen arischen character." 
The Marathi Mahisa stands for the Sanskrit Mahisa. 


edition of Ziegenbalg's Genealogij of the Malabar Gods, 
supported the opinion of liis predecessors and tried to 
strengthen the argument in favor of the Non- Aryan origin 
of the liiiga by the statement that Ravanaj the representa- 
tire of the aborigines of South India was according 
to the Uttarakanda of the Ramayana, a staunch votary of 
the lihga, carrying in fact always with him a golden 
linga which he worshipped with incense and lowers. He 
also refers to the legend according to which Ravana was 
waylaid by Ganapati at GrOkarna when he was on his way 
to Laiika and compelled to leave the Praija-Linga^ which 
he had extorted from Siva by his severe penance at the 
first named place on the Western coast. " * I have alluded 
to this story previously and given the version supplied by 
the late Hon. Visvanath Narayan Mandlick, and I also 
referred to an account contained in the Archaeological 
Survey of India concerning the temple of Mahadeva 
Ravanesvara at Baijnath in Bengal.^ ' ^ 

'^* See Genealogie der Malabarischen Gotter . von Bartholomaens 
Ziegenbalg, erster Abdruck besorgt durch Dr. Wilheltn Germann, Madras, 
1867, p. 156, Note : "Von Eavana dem Vcrtreter der siidlichen Urein- 
wohner wird in Uttarakanda Ramayanam erwiihnt, dass iiberall wohiu er 
ging, ein goldnes Linga mit ihni getragen wurde, Welches er mit Weili- 
ranob und Blumeu verehrte. Ferner die Sage, nacli welcber Tinayaka in 
etwas biibischer Weise dem Ravana die iibliche Verehrnng abzwingt, zeigt 
ihn uns ein Linga naoh Lanka bringend (freilich angeblich von Kailasa), 
der Tempel welches Linga jetzt Gokarna heissen soil (Saiva Sam. V, V, 
III. Fr. 18 ff). Also Ravana erscheint immer mit dem Linga." 

Another Ravana, the son of ludrajit, the third king of Kasmir after 
Gonanda III (perhaps identical with King Kaniska of the Saka era) 
erected the Tateivara lii'iga. 

11= See above, pp. 136 — 138. I have alluded there to the legend given 
in the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol. VIII, pp. 143 — 145, and as it 
contains some peculiar items, I now quote it below ; "Ravana used daily 
to go to Uttara Khanda (sic ! 1 '.) to worship Siva. One day he went there, 
and in the exuberance of physical strength he shook the mountain, dis- 
turbing Parvati. Having done this, he went towards Siva's abode to 
worship i when he approached, Nandi forbade his advance, as Siva and 
Parvati were asleep together. Ravana, however, was not to be denied ; 



Dr. John Muir and tlie Rev. F. Kittel were^ according to 
my opinionj the first to point out the error of these views, 

he told Nandi that he being in the place of a son to Siva, there was no 
harm in hia going in at any time. Saying this and pitching away Nandi 
to a distance, he entered. Siva was much pleased at his courage and firm 
faith, and desired him to ask a gift. Eavana said, ' It is along distance for 
me to come daily from Lanka to worship you here, be pleased to go to 
Lanka and abide there.' Siva consented on the condition that Havana 
was to carry him all the way, without for a moment setting him down. 
Bavana gladly took up the lingam, and proceeded, when he arrived at 
Lajhuri village, near the place where the temples stand (the village is now 
known as Harlajhuri), he felt it necessary to go to the fields ; he could not 
carry the lingam with him and pollute it, and he was cogitating what to 
do. In this emergency Vishnu, who saw that if Eavana succeeded in 
carrying Siva to his kingdom he would become invincible, assumed the 
guise of a poor Brahman, and being accosted by Eavana, and requested to 
hold the lingam for a few minutes, while he went a short way, the pre- 
tended Brahman agreed. Eavana now made over the lingam to the 
Brahman, and went aside. While Eavana was engaged, the Brahman 
quickly walked away with the lingam, arriving finally at the spot where 
the great temple stands, there he set the lingam down and vanished. 
Eavana on returning at the expiration of the whole day ffor Taruna had 
entered into him and occupied him all that time in letting out the sea of 
waters within him) found the Brahman gone. After some search he 
found the lingam, but on attempting to lift it up, Siva reminded him of 
the agreement between them and refused to stir. Havana enraged, 
pressed the lingam down, saying, ' Since you wont go to Lanka, go to 
Patala instead.' This is the mark which exists on the summit of the 
lingam to this day. The lingam thus established became known as 
Mahadeo ES vanesvara. In course of time the site of the lingam was over- 
grown with jangal, and no one but a poor gwala knew of its existence. 
This man, Baiju by name, used to dwell in the vicinity, living on roots 
and fruits ; he was ordered by Mahadev in a vision to worship him ; the 
poor man accordingly used to bring Bel leaves for the worship daily, but 
having no vessel to bring water, used to bring water for the libation in his 
mouth. This strange libation, however, did not please Siva, who after 
much patient endurance, complained to Eavana of the gwala's treatment. 
Eavana came, washed the lingam with water from Haridwar, and ordained 
that thenceforth none but Ganges water from the Tirthas of Haridwar, 
Gangotri, andDasasumeth (Ajodhya) was to be poured on the lingam. Siva 
at last was pleased with the untiring devotion of Baiju Gwala, and offered 
to give him any gift he should ask. The independent gwala replied . . . 
grant that henceforth my name should precede yours. From that day, the 
Hngam known as Ravaneswara came to be known as Baijnath." 


SO far as the worship of the liriga is concerned. The extent 
of the area in which the linga cult prevails at present, 
cannot be adduced as a reason, that it did not previously 
exist elsewhere or that the liriga was not worshipped in the 
north-west and north, but only in the north-east and in the 
south of India. As a proof that the liriga was worshipped 
m the north by Aryans, may be quoted the sage Tandi 
who revered Mahadeva in the Krtayuga on the Himalaya 
mountain, and JJpamanyu, who visited the hermitage of 
Ta^idi, and was one of the most fervent believers in the 
divine power of the liriga. But also many holy liriga 
shrines in the south are ascribed to or connected with holy 
Aryan sages and heroes. The sage Esyasrriga revered 
thus the liriga of Candrasekhara in a temple near Srrigeri- 
matham in Mysore ; the Saptahotisvaralihga at Narvem in 
the Portuguese territory of Goa is by the legend ascribed 
to the Saptarsis ; the Ramalihga at Ramesvaram is said to 
be erected by Dasaratha Rama, and a great number of 
lirigas in the Korikana country were established by Para- 
surama.^ ' ^ 

With respect to Ravana, even if he is at times reviled as 
a Raksasa, it must not be forgotten that he is through his 
grandfather Pulastya, the great grandson of Brahman, that 
he obtained his power, though he abused it later on, by 
his pious penance, and that in spite of the uuholy life he 
led, he was burnt according to Brahmanical rites. If 
Ravaua is on the other hand regarded as the representative 
of the aboriginal population, and I quite agree in this view, 
he may well have been a worshipper of Siva, as Bhiitesa or 
Bhutanatha, the lords of the demons or ghosts, but I believe 
that his representation as a worshipper of the liriga, is a 

" • See Original Sanslcrii Te.rts, by J. Muir, D.C.L., LL.D., Ph.D., Vol. II, 
pp. 202, 391, IV, pp. 189— 196, 405—420, aud Ueher den Urapru-ng dm 
Lingakultus vou F. Kittel, pp. 2, 4 — 8. 


later addition^ though it is to be found in the Uttarakaijda 
of the Eamayana. ' * '' 

The Paulastya Ravaiia stands besides not alone in his 
worship of Siva, for the Asura Bana is also mentioned as a 
devoted follower of Siva together with the cowherd 

The existence and worship of Siva as a great Brahniani- 
cal Hindu deity is no less a matter of historical certainty, 
than is the fact that Siva had been separately revered for 
a considerable length of time, before he was connected 
with the lihga. The origin and development of the cult 
of Siva as the chief of the demons, or Bhutas, is no doubt 
mainly due to the Non-Aryan demon worshipping popula- 
tion of India, yet, however many Non- Aryan elements are 
mixed with the present Saiva religion, its association with 
the liiiga need not be due to Non-Aryan influence. For 
it is a remarkable and indisputable fact, that, while the 
Non-Aryan aborigiues are on the whole throughout the 
country adherents of the worship of SciJcti, or female 
energy, as exemplified by their adoration of Crramadevatas, 
a worship which united with that of the ghosts, demons or 
devils, fills the mind of terrified man with an indescriba- 
ble awe of the mysterious forces of nature contained in 
the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, an awe which 
manifests itself in the reverence paid to serpents, trees and 

' ' ' The blokas in the Uttarakauda of the Ramayapa (XXXI, 12, 43) are : 
^ atra yatra ca yati sma Eavamo raksasf svarali, 
jambunadaniayam lingam tatra tatra sma niyate. 
Balukavedimadhye tn tallii'igam sthapya Ravaioah, 
arcayam asa gandliais ca puspaiscariirtagandhiblijli. 
' ' ' Al'ler the performance of the Paucayatanapiija the remaining 
p(jrtions of the offering are presented to Siva's attendants with this 
half verse : 

Nandi is the son of the Brahman Silada and Bhri'igi, an incarnation of 
Gayatrl, is a dancer in the lioavcn Kailasa. 


stones,-!— there exists hardly any evidence to show that 
these same people worshipped the linga or the organ of 
generation, and even at the present day we cannot point 
out any aboriginal tribe, who has retained intact its national 
customs, as revering the Phallus. On the other hand it is 
well known that in all the famous linga-temples in South- 
India at least, if not in the whole of India, the priestly 
office has been and is still filled by Brahmans, and yet it is 
well known that Brahmans do not like, as a I'ule, to have 
anything to do with the administration of the property of 
Siva ; an illustration of this antipathy supplies the Tamil 
proverb Siva sottu Jculandsanam, the property of Siva is the 
ruin of a family.^ ^ ^ 

Such linga temples are spread all over India iu great 
numbers. Among these are celebrated the Keddresalinga 
on the Himalaya, the Vaidyandthalinga at Deograh in 
Bengal, the Visvesvaralinga in Benares, the MahdJcdlalinga 
and Amaresvaraliiiga in and near Ujjain in Malva, the 
Omkdraliiiga on the Narmada, the Sdmesvaralinga at 
Somnath in Surastra, the TryamhaJcalihga near Nasik and 
the BMmasanlcaralinga near the source of the Bhima in 
Maharastra, the Mahabalesvaralihga at Gokarna in Kanara, 
the MalUhcirjunalmga at Srisaila in Karnul, the Rdmaliuga 
at Eamesvaram in Madura. The south of India possesses 
moreover five holy lingas representing the five elements 
earth, prthivt, water, op, fire, tejas, wind, vdyu and air, Ukasa, 
respectively at KancI or Kaiijivaram, Jambukesvaram or 

'" See Ziecjenbalg in Dr. Germann's edition, p. 31 ; "In den Pagoden 
darf Niemand anders dem Linga opf ern, als nur Brahnianen, denn solche 
Figur stebt im allerinnersten oder heiligsten der Pagode." With respect 
to Dr. Stevenson's remark that no Brahmans officiate in linga — while they 
do in Visnu temples Dr. Muir observes loco citato IV, p. 407 (Note) : " This 
distinction does not, I think, exist in Northern India. In the temple of 
Visvesvara, at Benares, the officiating priests, if I am not mistaken, am 
Brahmans. The same is the impreesion of Professor Fitz-Edward Hall, 
with whom I have ooinmunicated on the subject." 


Tiruvanaikaval between Trichinopoli and Srirangam, Tiru- 
vaiiijamalai or Arunacala, Kalahasti and Chidambai-am. ^ ^ o 
There exists, it is true, a particular and widely-spread 
sect of worshippers of the liiiga, the so-called Lingayats, 
a sect which arose about the end of the twelfth century 
and which mainly consists of Non-Aryan Sodras, but the 
founder of this sect was a Brahman, the famous Basava, 
who left his caste in order to teach to Sudras and to 
despised Holeyas the doctrine of Siva and the linga, and to 
elevate them after their conversion to respectable castemen 
or kulajas.' ^ ' 

"° Compare F. Kittel's Lingalcultus, pp. 5, 6 ; the Indian Antiquary, 
Vol. II, p. 15, where a Gaul ameialihrja of unknown place is mentioned 
among the twelve lingas, while the Mahabalesvaralinga at Gokarna is 
omitted. — Tiruvanir in Tanjore claims also the akasaliiiga. 

1 = 1 See Rev. P. Kittel's Limjahultus, pp. 11, 12 : " Zu Ende des 12ten 
Jahrhunderts bildete sich, nach dem Sturze der westliohen CSlukya- 
Dynastie, in Kaljana die Sekte der Lihgaytas (der jetzigen Eeohnung nach 
Siidras) in opposition gegen bestehende Heterodoxie (banddha und jaina) 
und Orthodoxie ; und in ihren zahlreichen Liijga-Tempeln fungiren keine 
Brahmanen. In den alten, d. h. brahnianischen, Linga-Tempeln dagegen, 
sind die piijaris ausschliessltch Brahmanen oder Aryas; and in diese 
Liihga-Tempel, z, B. der zu Gokarna und alls die obgeuannten, sind es, 
welche zu allgemeiner Beriihmtheit gelangt sind. Auch LingSytas 
kbnnen sie besuchen, aber diirfen nicht hinein ; es scheint aber, dass zur 
Zeit der ersten Kraft der Sekte in dieser Beziehung ein Unterschied 
stattfand;" and pp. 31, 32, 33 .- " Um gleich etwaigen Vermuthungen in 
dieser Beziehung vorzubeugcn, bringen wir hicr die Thatsache herein, dass 
naoh geschichtlichen Zeugnissen noch im Beginn des 13. Jahrhitnderts 
p. Chr. die andrischeii Sfnlrus, iind Holeyas (d. i. Unreine, die unter den 
Siidras stehen) in Kalyana unter dem jaina-vaishnava Kbnige Bijjala I als 
Klassen tenie XiH;y«-Tcre?irec waren, der Stifter der lihgayta Sekte aber, 
Basava, cin geborner Brahmane, «»/ Kosiea seiner Easte und seines Em/cs, 
es darauf anlegte ihnen dadurch, dass er sie zu solchen, respective 
Lingaijtas, machte, eine hohcre Stellung in der Gesellschaft zu geben . . . 
Die Tendenz dfis Basavapuraiia ist darzuthun, dass Basava das Pririlegium 
der Aryas unmittelbare Lii'nia-Verehrer zu sein, auch auf die Anaryas 
ausdehnen, oder das Lihga zuui Gemeingut AUcr maohen wollte, wenn 
auch meist aus soctirerisoheii Eiicksiohteu. Es war der erste und le